(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Hardcore Gamer Magazine Volume 5 Issue 2"

new names • old games • console games • dc names • arcade games • portable games • name stuff 



WRDCOREUMEi 



&/&/<&., 




fwdcoregamer.com 



ml^iiip.ph}immi\k 




«*«"? iS 






PlUS this cool stuff 



KIN KaOE ™ TFTAJtSS^fT 






ID R A c o n- 1 s 



J 



I 







TK F4JTM Of A»: GAMING! THE FUT4IRE Of MOTION CONTROL! Tffi FUTURE Of GAMING NINES! 



tfanicortsamer.csin 






Editor in Chief 

Steve Hannley 

Editors 

Tony Mitera 

EricPomroy 

James Cunningham 

Adam Beck 

Jeremy Peeples 

Ice Cream Lips 

Jeremy Peeples 

Production Artist 

RhiHale 

Artist 

Terry Wolf inger 

Asset Manager 

Adam Beck 

Ad sales 

Burr Hilsabeck 

415-412-5685 

burr@haitlcoffegamer.coni 

Martin Gilbert 
Customer Service 
425-868-2216 



"Hardcore Gamer" and "DoubleJump" are trademarks or registered 
trademarks of DoubleJump Publishing Incorporated. All rights reserved. No 
part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by 
any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or 
by any information storage or retrieval system without written permission 
from DoubleJump Publishing. DoubleJump Books is a division of DoubleJump 
Publishing, Inc. 

DoubleJump Publishing and the authors have made every effort to ensure 
that the information contained in this magazine is accurate. However, the 
publisher makes no warranty, either expressed or implied, as to the accuracy, 
effectiveness, or completeness of the material in this magazine; nor does the 
publisher assume liability for damages, either incidental or consequential, 
that may result from using the information in this magazine. Questions 
regarding operation of the game software and hardware should be directed 
to the support numbers provided by the game and device manufacturers in 
their documentation. 
Printed in the United States of America 




StotmyDawn Rhi Hale 

I still can't believe I managed to throw all this together. 
I didn't know I was capable of this kind of work, and I 
am super, super proud of myself. And now, I must fulfill 
a promise I made when I was 8: HI MOM! <3 





OUberLord lbny Mfera 

I'm beginning see zombies and darkspawn carrying M16s 
in my sleep. That probably means I should play less 
games, but I'm not about to let my sanity get in the 
way of a few more hours in all of the games I'm buried 
in. 



Now Playing: Dragon Age: Origins, Left 4 Dead 2, Call of\ 
Duty: Modern Warfare 2 




IF ^-"^KigSIIPatPi 




Jeremy Jeremy Peeples 

After a turbulent 2009 on a personal level, it's felt 
wonderful to at least get back on track with gaming. I've 
been playing a lot of stuff from a variety of genres, and 
rekindled my love of MvC 2 by playing with my buddy 
Darian for hours on end. 



Now Playing: Excitebike: World Rally, Forza Motorsport 
3, Street Fighter IV, Crazy Taxi, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, 
WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010, Wario Land: Shake It! 



Leon the Hart Bic Pomroy 

With the swine flu scare now in full force, I figured it'd be 
best to completely cease my social life and spend my nights 
playing video games alone at home. In other words, nothing 
has changed. 



Now Playing: Lostwinds: Winter of the Melodias, Rune 
Si Factory Frontier, Excitebike: World Rally, Metroid Prime 
Trilogy 



Dack Steve Hannley 

Marty Funkhouser may be the best TV show character 
of all time. Seriously, go watch this season of Curb Your 
Enthusiasm and see for yourself. 



Now Playing: Don't Stop - Annie, Kings & Queens - 
Jamie T, Crown on the Ground - Sleigh Bells, Man on 
the Moon - Kid Cudi 



ZgS0££/JlllM 




Beck Adam Beck 

2009 has been a strange year for me. For one, the earth 
below me is still snow free, and it scares me. Thankfully, we 
are treated to a wave of games that doesn't seem to letup 
until summer of next year. 



Now Playing: Dragon Age: Origins, Demon's Souls, 
Borderlands 






rill Wf/^r 





Gamers might be glued 
to their Xboxes and 
PlayStations, but the 
arcade scene is still alive 
and kicking. There are 
some truly impressive 
cabinets coming to the 
arcade next year and 
Adam Pratt takes an in- 
depth look at 'em. 



E: BIOS 

3: TABLE OF CONTENTS 

4: COUER STORY: DMNITY II: EGO 

DRRCONIS 
34: FERTURE: 301 OS WONDERFUL 

WORLD OF RRCRDES 
40: FERTURE: MOTION CONTROLLERS: 

THEN RND NOW 
54: FERTURE: R STRRTEGY GUIDE LIKE | 

NO OTHER 
EG: PREVIEW: DRRK UOID 
60: PREVIEW: BIOSHOCK 3 
63: PREVIEW: SUPER MONKEY BRLL: 

STEP a ROLL 
63: PREVIEW: SUPER STREET 

FIGHTER IU 
64: PREVIEW: MONSTER HUNTER TRI 
65: PREVIEW: MODNRTION RRCERS 
66: PREVIEW: RESONRNCE OF FRTE 
66: REVIEW: NEW SUPER MRRIO 

BROTHERS Wll 
70: REVIEW: LITTLE BIG PLRNET PSP 
73: REVIEW: GOD OF WRR COLLECTION 
73: REVIEW: POKEMON RUMBLE 
74: IMPORTS: RFRIKR SOUNDTRRCK 
75: IMPORTS: KRTRMRRI DRMRCY 

TRIBUTE 
76: IMPORTS: DUX 
76: IMPORTS: JRPRNS DOUJIN SOFT 

KEEP 3D GRMES RLIUE 
80: IMPORTS: IROZUKI TINGLE NO KOI 

NO BRLLOON TRIP 
83: DOWNLORDS: TORCHLIGHT 
S3: DOWNLORDS: GRATUITOUS SPRCE 

BRTTLES 
3: DOWNLORDS: ECHOES+ 
S3: DOWNLORDS: BOOKWORM 

RDUENTURES VOLUME 3 
S3: DOWNLORDS: BERT HRZRRD 
34: GRRUEYRRD: GRRNRDR 
S5: GRMES RMERICR FORGOT: RRPID 

RELORD 




LUME 5 ISSUE 2 



»»» * ** »« ■■ 



A 



■ ^ ^ 



6= 8 





ft 



I&-.V* 



s 



w/1 






>i£6 



i 



sv^ J( :: 









m 

■ CUP 

4 ! 






m* 



• 


1 


:I3P 


f 










mi 


ftlll Ell 

*3m^W Kb, 






h& 



-/5N 



i 



j2v 



fINITYJI: ESO DRflCONIS/,V' 





our life has suddenly taken more than more than its 
fair share of twists and turns in a very short amount of 
time. Barely any time has passed from when you were 
little more than a Dragon Slayer initiate and completed the 
ritual to put you on the path to become a Slayer. In a twist 
of the strands of fate, your first dragon hunt thereafter was 
supposed to be the last you and your compatriots would 
ever know, as you and your fellow Dragon Slayers were 
in pursuit of the last known Dragon Knight in existence. 
Rather than the day end with the betrayers finally elimi- 
nated, your destiny changed course when the last Dragon 
Knight approached you and fused her essence into your 
own. 

Now you are the very being that you were trained to hunt 
and kill, which not only makes you a favored target for the 
Dragon Slayers to sink their blade into, but also puts you 
in a unique position of terrible knowledge. While humani- 
ty has been working on eliminating the Dragon Knights a 
new threat has been brewing in the form of a demon army 
I led by Damian, a being so furious over the loss of his 
love that he would see the world burn with all the flames 
his wrath can muster. Not only must you survive being 
stuck between these two opposing forces, but you must 
also gain enough power and friends to stop Damian's 
army before he uses it to turn the world asunder. 



it 




4 



KSE 



1 



f you hadn't already guessed, Divinity II is the latest high fantasy 
epic from Larian Studios, the architects behind the previous games in 
the Divinity series including 2002's Divine Divinity and 2004's Beyond 
Divinity. The gameplay is essentially an action RPG as you control 
your character through real-time combat using your abilities to topple 
your foes and perform evasive rolls and leaps so as to avoid the swing 
of an axe or the sting of a bolt of magical energy. You only control 
your own character rather than a party, which means that the only 
micromanagement you will be performing is simply that of keeping 
tabs on your skills and their cooldown as you rain hell down on your 
enemies. 

As a Dragon Slayer initiate one of your first trials in becoming a full- 
fledged Dragon Slayer is to visit the village of Farglow. This sacred 
village is a place that all Dragon Slayers visit once and never again, 
and a key reason for the visit is the mind wipe that occurs at the 
height of the initiation ritual. This mind wipe has the unfortunate 
side effect of wiping out much of the training and experience that 
initiates have amassed over their training, but that training was 
only meant to see if the initiates mind is tempered enough to accept 
the gift that follows the mind wipe. You see, the wipe leaves the 
initiates mind open and clear to receive the new knowledge that the 
ritual imparts, not the least of which is the ability to see and com- 
municate with undead spirits as well as the ability tb read minds. 
This wipe also leaves the initiates eyes with a perpetual silvered 
: shine, a trademark visage of a Dragon Slayer. 

The ability to interact with the undead is important, as with the 
lands of Rivellon having endured a long and bloodied history of con- 
flict there are many spirits left haunting the dungeons and towers 
that scatter the landscape. Your quests will take you through many 
areas that these ghosts call home, and talking with them 



may not 
history as 
have side 




only shed some light on previous unknown 
it pertains to your objective but they also may 
quests for you to complete in order for you to 
complete that which they can no longer do 
now that they are no longer in the corpo- 
real realm. 



* 







5 COVER STORY: DMN TY : ESQ DRAGON S 



■ 









J^L 



T\>^ 







1 



-P ^r&t\M£ J=»PA^»Vi 




^ 



ft : ; . 

^f he ability to read minds however is a ^L true game 
changer, and is one of Divinity IFs most inter^L esting 
features. As you make your way across the ^L lands 
of Rivellon, you will encounter many characters V dur- 
ing your journey, both human and non-human. T You 
can use your newly acquired mind reading powers t to 
probe the minds of nearly any character that you h can 
talk with normally, letting you in on insight or g hid- 
den knowledge that would otherwise be unavail- f able to 
you. Mind reading, however, does not come with- / out a 
price, as each time you do so it puts you into an /ex- 
perience debt that can be high or low depending on the 
strength of the mind you are reading (or as to how juicy 
the information is). Once this debt has been accumulated 
all future experience gains go towards paying it off before 
your character continues to gain experience towards level- 
ing, but the rewards are often worth it. 

Mind reading has a variety of uses, the most basic of 
which is to get a cheap bit of gossip or to learn a juicy or 
possibly embarrassing aspect of a shopkeeper's life so that 
it can be used as leverage to help him adjust his prices 
accordingly. However, the use of this ability in quest 
lines can often change the direction a course takes dra- 
matically. Early on in the game you are simply asked by 
a female villager to deliver a sealed letter to the village 
blacksmith and are explicitly told to not tell her 'husband. 
Seeing it for what it obviously is, one outcome of the 
quest would be to simply deliver the letter and leave it at 
that. 



COWER STORY- D V N TY : EGO DRAGON S 7 



^^r — ' w : 






IqI 



r ardcore Gamer had the chance to sit 
^4 down with Swen Vincke, the CEO and 

Studio Head of Larian, and David 
y I Walgrave, the Producer of Divinity II, to 

ask them questions about their biggest 

game yet. 

1/ How big can the airborne battles as a dragon get? Will the 
player be primarily fighting single or small groups of enemies, 
or can battles become more complex? 

The player will take on single enemies if he's smart. There will 
~)e squadrons of flying creatures taking you on, but if you don't 
single them out, and you're going to fly right in the middle, 
you're as good as dead. 

You will also have to take care of enemy air defenses, so there's 

air-to-ground combat in it as 

well. 

2 J What challenges did you face in adding the ability to become 
a dragon into the game and take flight? 



There were numerous challenges. We already started taking 
them into account during preproduction where we experimented 
with different technical solutions to all our problems. 

We needed to have big levels where you could fly around freely, 
and they couldn't be less detailed than the rest of the world. 
And when flying at 40 meters per second, streaming had bet- 
ter keep up (opposed to running at 4 meters per second). You 
can also transform back into a human in most of these levels, 
so the ground experience needs to be up to par with the rest of 
the world. There were constant "what if moments during art 
creation of these levels, and during quest design, et cetera. 



Of course, we also iterated through different control schemes 
and animations for the dragon. You're basically flying a huge 
i beast around, but you want it to feel reactive and fast enough. 
Took quite some different setups before we found the right feel. 



3/ How much of the game can the player spend in their dragon 
form once they gain the ability to do so? 



You'll i 
dragon 



11 probably spend something like 20% of the time as a 






8 COVER STORY: DIVINITY II: EGO DRAGONIS- 



x^;. 







H 



r-/ 



<u 



ith such matrimonial woes going on, it's hard not to mind read into 
the matter further, and when the woman's mind was read you find that she 
often wonders why her husband hides a key up in the rafters that she can- 
not reach. This leads to grabbing the key and checking out the locked cellar, 
which is a plan cellar barring the fact that it contains her husband diary in 
which he details the fact that her murdered the last man that tried to court 
his wife on the side. When confronted with this new knowledge the hus- 
band enrages at the thought of his secret getting out and attempts to cover 
his tracks by killing you. There are entire quest chains that are unlocked 
simply by letting your curiosity getting the better of you and mind reading 
people you talk with. It might be hit or miss as to if they will have worth- 
while thoughts rattling around, but the results are often worth it. 



te+viN 




*■— 



i 



The ability to read minds also comes in quite handy when you can use it to 
glean what the motivations are of someone who is sending you on a quest. 
You may get sent on an errand, only to mind read the quest giver to find 
that they are only doing so to keep you away from something or at least 
hope that you do not find it. On some quests that have multiple outcomes, 
this may influence what outcome you ultimately want to choose now that 
you have insider knowledge of the quest givers. Of course some 
powerful characters may notice you peering into their minds and 
begin to have a mental conversation with you, which can both posi- 
tively and negatively affect their views of you. 



As stated earlier, however, the game doesn't exactly revolve around 
playing with the unspoken gossips of the townsfolk, as there are far 
more grave matters afoot. When the Dragon Knight infused her 
abilities and mind into your own you gained the ability to 
become a Dragon Knight but those abilities lay dormant. Thus, 
one of your first primary goals is to unlock those skills and not 
the least of which is the ability to turn into a dragon at will. 
While in dragon form, you have the full ability to take to the 
skies and engage in aerial combat as you breathe fire on your 
enemies and emit tracking bursts of flame to take out distant 
foes. It is fully possible to leap off of a cliff where you have slain 
a few mountaintop baddies, transform into a dragon as you freefall 
off the side, roast some airborne enemies, and then change back into 
human form again to kill some additional foes down in the valley 
below. 



■5? 




m 



COVER STORY: DIVINITY II: ESQ DRACONIS 9 



e=. a 



R 



£ c 



>ombat is something that you will quickly get used to in Divinity II, but how 
it plays out is ultimately up to your personal tactics and how you build your 
character. Killing your enemy gains you experience proportional to the level of 
the fallen foe, which not only pays off any experience debt that you accumulated 
from mind reading, but also goes towards leveling up your character. Every time 
you level, you gain four attribute points to apply towards your base stats. Vitality 
increases your hit points, while Spirit helps dictate your maximum mana points 
available to you. Strength is the primary attribute for melee fighters due to how it 
affects how much melee damage you deal, how much of it you resist, how fast you 
^regenerate hit points, and how well your body and resist affects such as burn and 
bleed. Dexterity deals with how much ranged damage you deal, how effectively you 
can dodge return fire from archers, and how much damage your critical hits do with 
any weapon. Finally, Intelligence can be pumped up to increase your magic damage 
and resistance, boost your ability resist such spells as curses and polymorph, and 
increase how quickly your mana regenerates. 

Every time you level, you also gain one skill point, which can be spent across any 
of the skill categories assuming you meet the skill's minimum level requirement. 
Putting points into these skills either boosts your character, grants you a new ability to 
use, or further bolsters and ability you already know. There are five of these categories; 
Priest, Mage, Warrior, Ranger, and Dragon Slayer. Priests have less healing abilities 
than what you would expect, instead being geared towards summoning undead 
minions to help you fight or cast detrimental curses against your enemies. Mages 
are based more on straightforward magic damage, with skills that deal direct dam- 
age or give you some crowd control. Warrior skills are based almost entirely around 
either dealing damage in melee or other skills that help you stay alive while doing so. 

your stereotypical archers with a bevy of arrow skills such 
and explosive arrows, as well as some degree of stealth. Fi- 
nally, Dragon Slayer skills are ones that increase your en- 
cumbrance, decrease how much experience it takes to read 
someone's mind, or increase your weapon proficiencies. 

While you can create a character that is primarily based 
around one of the skill categories such as a full-on Ranger, 
the most powerful characters come with mixing and match- 
ing skills in order to suit the variety of situations you will 
find yourself in. Since you can switch weapon sets on the fly 
you may wish to pepper your foes with arrows before rush- 
ing in with a sword and shield, or prefer to swing a massive 
hammer around and just fling some painful magic at any 
target out of your mighty reach. Building a character that 
follows just one of the skill categories means that while 
your character will be incredibly powerful while in their 
element, you will often find yourself in situations where 
it is very difficult to survive such as a ranger in close 
quarters, or a warrior caught out in the open. 







47 Other than not being able to 
enter dungeons, what downsides 

XV does being a dragon have that 
might make the player at times 

ft I want to stay on foot? 

V 

As a dragon, it's pretty hard to talk 
to people. People run away at the 
very sight of a dragon, and think 
they'll be barbecued when you'd try to talk to them. Not 
being able to talk to other people in an RPG is kind of a 
downside :) 

Some areas are really dangerous or impossible to enter as 
a dragon because people have put up anti-dragon defenses. 

/ Do you still gain the same amount of experience and 
loot regardless if you kill an enemy in human form or in 
dragon form? 

The targets that you can kill as a dragon cannot be killed 
when you're human. So that's the downside of being hu- 
man in the game ;) 




j Airborne targets don't drop loot. They do give experience 
'h. Experience is shared between your dragon and 
your human form. 

©/ What sources influenced you in the creation and re- 
finement of the game's lore and story? 

J Well, the basic lore was already there, thanks to the previ- 
ous Divinity games (Divine Divinity and Beyond Divinity). 
We just worked further on that history. Of course, we did 
add a lot of new stuff, because Divinity //takes place hun- 
dreds of years after Divine Divinity. 

\ 

Our writers were influenced by different cultures and 
sources, not just lots of fantasy books. If you do want some 
fantasy names, there's the usual Tolkien of course, but 
also the excellent fantasy work of Robin Hobb and Ste- 
phen Erikson. But we read much more than just fantasy, 
and we also know this world's history and history being 
made today. You will find many references in the game to 
the most varying topics. 




COVER STORY: DIVINITY II: ESQ DRAC0NISJ1 



7) What similarities and differences 
does Divinity II have with your previ 
titles in the series? 



f Similarities: 

- the density of things to do 

- it's in the same universe 

- classless skill system 

- there's always the stress on strong char development 

- quest depth 

- we worked out the summoning dolls a bit more (in Divinity 
II, you build your own creature) 



J 7 

Differences: 

- obviously, we've gone full 3D now, with an engine that sup- 
ports current gen technology 

- we feel Divinity II is more dynamic 

- and on the gameplay front, we've started mixing different 
genres: there's aerial combat as the dragon, you can mindread 
people, we have a couple of platforming challenges, and the com- 
bat has been adjusted to the over-the-shoulder cam to feel more 
action based 

8/ What feature or aspect of Divinity II are you the most proud 
of? 

The mindreading skill is a very unique game mechanic. Play- 
ers have a hard time deciding whether or not to mindread the 
character, and giving players freedom of choice is what we're for. 
It also makes NPC's more interesting, it gives them more depth, 
and of course, it allows for even more branching quest solutions. 
Mindreading gives you insight in a character, leads to treasure, 
or can change the way you can react to people or how you solve 
quests. 

The fact that you can shapeshift and fly around feels very grati- 
fying every time you press that button. The feature had been in 
our minds for years, and a lot of people kept saying that it could 
never be done. But it's not about proving them wrong anymore, 
it's just turned out to be great fun, every time you do it, even if 
you start taking it for granted after a while. 

, / How long do you expect the average play through of the game 
to take? 

Depending on how good you are, you can finish the game in 
about 60 hours. If you're going to read everything (all the books, 
diaries, sonnets...) and do all the sidequests, you're looking at 
about 80 hours. 




nny quaid, hamburgli 





11/ Do ene 

such as a g< 



lemies re 



lO) Are there any plans towards expan 
sion packs or downloadable content? 

We are talking about this with different 
parties and cannot say anything at this 



le game, after a period of time, 

lg repopulated, or are there a finite 



number of enemies in the game? 

The number of enemies are finite, they do not respawn. This is a 
design decision we made early on because the game could be- 
come unbalanced. It also makes clear to the player where he has 
already been, and where he still has to go. It will also indicate 
what his next move should be: enemies do not adapt their level 
to the player level, so if you are level 1 and you're wandering off 
too far, you'll quickly notice. Try taking on an enemy that's a 
couple of levels higher than you are, and you probably will die. 
However, you can try to take him on, which may work out for 
you if he's all alone. If you succeed, you will be rewarded with 
more experience. 






12) Wha 



attainable in the game? 



Depending on whether you do all the side-quests and experience 
gained by killing enemies, you will end the game with a charac- 
ter that's between level 32 and 40. The level cap is level 60 but 
with the quest XP and enemy XP that is currently in the game, 
you won't reach that :) 

Xv) How many skill and attribute points can be found via a 
means other than simply leveling up? 

There are about two dozen skillbooks in the game, half a dozen 
statbooks, and a dozen of dragonskillbooks. 

I4v Without spoiling anything, what other unique or interesting 
gains can the player get using mind reading? 

Apart from lore, alternative quest branching, other rewards, 
secret objects and locations, there are characters that teach you 
a new skill when you mindread them. 

You'll have to be careful using mindreads, 'cause some people 
will just be thinking about day-to-day stuff, or trying to complete 
a funny limerick in their head. 













COVER STORY: DMN TY : ESQ DRAGON S 




V m5 J If the player uses mind read a lot 

A\ they will go into a lot of experience 

debt, does that mean that players who 
Iff use it often won't get to as high a level 
ff as those who mind read sparingly? 



Well, that depends on whose mind you 
read, really. Mindreading certain characters will unlock an 
entirely new location, reward, or quest branch, so you'll gain 
back more than the mindread cost you. 

Of course, you may also gain back loot (items, 
money) and no experience, so you'll have to make a 
choice between what's more important to your 
character. For instance, if you know that a mindread 
of 50 XP will earn you the location of a gold bag that 
has 100 gold coins in it, do you think that's fair or 
would you rather not have bothered? 



mm 



I think it's often obvious who will think of something 
interesting, so you have to learn to judge by talking to 
people first, and see how they fit in the story. 



16/ With no morality system to keep the player in 
check, are there repercussions to playing a "good" or 
"bad" character? 



The people that you have interacted with will remember how 
you have treated them before. Some will stop trading with you, 
or their prices will be higher if you were rude to them or failed 
a quest. Good or evil has an impact on prices (but that doesn't 
mean being a goodie two-shoes will always give you a discount 
of course) and on quest branching. 

) How many different body parts are available for players 
to craft their personal minion with? 

You combine the creature with a head, a torso, arms and legs. 
So you need four body parts. All four body parts come in four 
different flavours: dragon elf, goblin, undead and the standard 



Using a body part from one of the former three gives the stan- 
dard creature a boost in stats and changes the skills of your 
creature. 

The body parts also come with different stats. So you could 
find two different goblin heads :) (And probably even more!) 






14 COVER STORY: DIVINITY. II: ESQ DRACONIS 








A V 




1 



n either case you will be dealing a lot of death towards a large variety of humans, 
goblins, skeletons, demons, and their ilk. Though the game is fully 3D in both graphics 
and in movement, the use of your attacks and abilities is based around a lock-on system 
to help manage those battles that, could otherwise easily be„ overwhelming. Your cur- 
rent lock is picked by simply pointing your camera towards the enemy. You can either 
let this free-moving lock run its course and simply point at who you want to hurt at the 
moment, or you can choose to put a hard-lock on a target, ensuring that you will only 
try to hit them until either they perish, or you change your lock. 

It is important to get a firm grasp of this system quickly, as simply standing around 
and picking your abilities to use against your target can often only get you killed. 
Melee fighters have an easier time going toe to toe with enemy hits assuming you 
pump their strength and vitality points up and deck them with armor, but if you have 
been forgoing strength in favor of the more delicate or intellectual pursuits, you will 
find that often your best defense against a foe is to make him unable to hit you at all. 
By pressing the jump button and moving to either side you can perform an evasive 
roll, and by jumping forward or backward you will leap into the air in a flip. These 
moves are great tools to help keep melee fighters at bay while you pepper their heal- 
ers, or simply roll out of the way of an enemy mage's spell before it lands. Higher 
level enemies are harder to evade in this manner and certain spells either move far 
more quickly than others or have homing abilities of various quality, but dodging and 
rolling can often mean the difference between using a potion or two in a fight or using 
none at all. 










Gear plays a big role in your survivability and tactics, as not only can gear items add 
to your melee, ranged, and magical defense but many gear items come with a variety 
of additional enhancements, which may be better suited either for your character or 
for the task at hand. Gear items themselves provide basic defense and have a chance 
of having modifiers of some caliber, such as the ability to deal automatic damage to 
any foe that hits you with a weapon with any attack, or simply have a change 
of dealing some damage to any nearby enemies regardless if j^iey attack you or 
not. Other boosts, such as the ability to increase one or more of your skills by a 
number of points can be invaluable, not to mention those pieces of gear that 
increase your base stats. 

Such gear can be purchased through one of the many shopkeepers and black- 
smiths that dot the game world, but generally speaking these pieces of armor and 
weapons only have the most basic of stats and rarely have anything more than 
maybe one stat bonus to them. The best gear comes from either random loot from 
enemies or from quest rewards. Purchasing gear is great for filling holes in your 
equipment or trying out the different styles of combat, but soon enough those black- 
smiths and shopkeepers will simply be those who you sell unwanted gear that you've 
accumulated in exchange for some gold coins or possibly a few potions and charms 
for your travels. 






B 



I 



I n addition to their inherent bonuses many pieces of gear have either enchantment or 
charm slots. Charm slots work similar to the socketing systems found in other RPGs 
where you simply fit an object into the charm slot that adds such things as melee dam- 
age, magic resistance, vitality points, mana regeneration and a multitude of others. 
You can put a charm into a charm slot at any time and it doesn't require anything, 
other than a weapon or gear item with such a slot and something to put in it. Once you 
put a charm in a slot, however, that charm is permanently bound to that item. It can be 
replaced, but you cannot retrieve that charm and use it in other items. 



Enchantments are far more powerful than charms, but in a similar manner, they re- 
quire an enchantment slot be present on the gear item. Enchantments also are selec- 
tive in what items they can be applied on, such as weapons, jewelry, or armor. Their 
effects however are often with the hassle of getting them on your gear, though. Some 
enchantments can add the ability to automatically restore your hit points or mana as a 
fraction of the damage you have dealt, or simply add a nice bonus to your base damage. 
Enchantments do require the help of someone to help you put the enchantment on, 
however, so you can't just slap one on while in the middle of your latest dungeon crawl. 

While you don't have a party in Divinity II and only ever control your own character, 
that's not to say that you can't get some dedicated help of your own. As you comb 
through dungeons and kill enemies you will acquire the body parts of creatures in the 
form of their heads, torsos, arms and legs. These ghastly bits of loot are more than 
just trophies of your latest kills, serving a far more important purpose when taken 
to a necromancer who can help you assemble them into a new being. Similar to your 
skills, however, how you build this little pet monster of yours often depends on how j 
you want him to compliment your own character. 

p 

Every body part has a set of attributes, such as how much it increases health, resis- 1 
tances, damage and whether or not it adds any abilities for the creatures use. You 
can just as easily build your creation as a tank that has high health, as you can build 
it as a melee force of nature, which gets in close and mauls your ffces. With certain 
body parts, you can give the creature ranged abilities, so if you would rather it stay 
| back and let you get messy in melee, you certainly can. Summoning your creature is 
done by using a Crystal Skull and takes half of your total mana, but^pice summoned, 
the creature will faithfully follow you and generally get in the face of anyone foolish 
enough to brandish a blade or an unkind stance against you. 

You will fight your way through a multitude of dungeons and other environments 
filled with all manners of things that wish to do unpleasant things with your mortal 
I coil, but unlike a traditional dungeon crawler, Divinity II often makes use of game- 
play elements other than just simply blazing through the area, cutting enemies down 
and gathering loot. There is much of that action to be had of course, but in addition 
you must watch out for pressure plates or other hidden traps that can have both good 
and bad consequences such as the difference between spawning a chest full of good- 
ies or polymorphing you into a ladybug for a period of time. As you leap over and roll 
out of the way of danger, it is important to keep an eye on your surroundings, not 
only to watch for flanking enemies, but also to make sure you don't accidentally acti- 
vate some devious trap that takes off half of your hit points in the blink of an eye. 



NITY II: EGO DRACONIS 



- 



*T$, 




I\ 18/ What skills or abilities do you feel 

\" \ that a beginner adventurer should work 

I into their builds? 
hi 

f M 

That really depends on what type of player 
you are, and what character you want to 
build. However, there are some skills that all 
types of players can use. For instance, the evade skill is handy for 
warriors that tank their way through the enemies, but it's also a 
great skill for the rangers when melee enemies come too close. 

If you're planning on mindreading a lot and you don't want to spend 
too much XP, invest in mindread early in the game, because most of 
the mindreads will be in the first part of the game. (It's kind of hard 
to mindread people in dragon form. Not to say impossible.) 

Again, even though it's personal choice in my opinion, I would 
advise people to put at least one point in summon ghost or summon 
demon very early in the game. You don't have your creature at the 
start of the game, and having an ally will take the heat off of your 
character for at least a little while. They'll also heal you or attack 
the enemies for you. 

19/ How many total quests are there in the game, and of that 
number how many of them are optional side quests? 

There are more than one hundred quests, of which more than half 
are optional. But you will notice that without questing, you will 
have trouble getting on in the game. Solving quests is not only 
fun, it also yields a lot more XP than killing enemies. So if you find 
yourself hitting a wall, make sure to talk to people and explore the 
area. 

ZO ) What area of the game are you the most proud of, either from 
a visual or from a design standpoint? 

I personally still love the very first level we ever made which is 
called Broken Valley. A lot of effort went into that level from all 
teams, and we actually re-created it about three times. 

I am still amazed at the size of the valley. The first part of the val- 
ley (the village) is really packed with interesting houses and dark 
dungeons and colourful characters. They give you lots of quests, 
and once you continue down the stream, you realize that you've 
only seen one fifth of that entire valley. 

There's really so much to do in that first level, that the external tes- 
ters initially thought that that was the entire game. I can't blame 
them, cause Broken Valley does have a lot of quests and offers a lot 
of variety. But it's just the beginning, even though you can easily 
spend more than ten hours in this valley alone if you want to see 
and do everything. 




Hm 



COVER STORY: DIVINITY II: EGO DRACONIS 



W 



I, I 



<$tf2m$)y 



^Mri 




^,OP fc 









,o^ 



o 



o 



?Y«^ a 







<-< 



rv 



*» * 



-A'^ 



JS5#« 



o 



tff 



fE 




strategy 
now. 



'^eii^i^rrrqjK^^rm 









ther elements in the game play a prominent role in spicing up 
your dungeon crawling as well. There is a small amount of plat- 
forming elements found in some of the more complicated dungeons 
in which you must accurately leap from platform after precarious 
platform in order to reach a switch to open a gate or simply leap over 
an obstacle from higher ground. There is no fall damage in the game, 
feo missing a leap rarely results in death, unless you happen to fall 
amongst a bunch of enemies who will then be quite happy to poke you 
full of new wounds. It won't be long before you will think to leap onto 
a platform that a lesser, non-Dragon Knight couldn't get to, so that 
you can avoid the reach of the swords and axes found in the hands of j 
melee enemies, but to negate being cheap, the enemies in the game 
will either use a ranged attack against you if they can't reach you, or 
will simply begin to regenerate hit points at a vastly accelerated rate. 

Another aspect of working your way through a dungeon or through 
the countryside itself in the pursuit of finishing quests, is how often 
in many quests you will need to either use your mind read ability 
to learn a key element about the quest, or read something that you 
had picked up for clues. Again, experience debt does hamper your 
characters progression somewhat, but there will be many times 
where you can get free attribute points or skill points to spend, just 
because you decided to read the mind of a librarian and accidentally 
learned a new alphabet, that you then used to read an ancient book 
filled with knowledge. 

One thing to keep in mind as you play Divinity II, however, is that 
the game certainly does not hold your hand if you decide to wander 
off the beaten path and into a pack of higher level enemies. The 
game's enemies do not automatically scale to your level,' so it is en- 
tirely possible to wander into a goblin's lair filled with enemies two 
or three levels higher than your own. This level difference doesn't 
seem like much, but even a couple level difference between you and 
your enemies matters a great deal. Enemies of a higher level than 
your own will deal massive damage, whereas if you are against an 
enemy a few levels lower than you, it will hardly be able to scuff the^ 
polish on your armor. 




18 COVER STORY: DMN TY : E60 DRAGON S 



ti m 






HARDCORE GAMER MAGAZINE.VOWME 5JSSUE 2 Jenny quaid, hamburqler 




regardless of how tough it was to do so, once you have completed a 
quest, you will be presented with a rewards menu. In the rewards menu, 
you can not only view the base rewards that come with completing that 
particular quest, but you will often get one or more reward selections, 
which lets you pick additional rewards to add on to your earnings. Such 
additional rewards can come in the form of even more experience gains, or 
another stack of gold coins to pad your coin purse with, and can also con- 
tain powerful new gear or charms. It can often boil down to what you need 
at the time, as sometimes getting more experience can be worth it, whereas 
in other times, you may simply decide that you would rather have that nice 
new axe over another stack of coin. 

To effectively take on the full mantle of what it means to be a Dragon 
Knight and put yourself in a position where you can effectively combat 
Damian's demon army, you must first gain access to your Battle Tower, 
which happens approximately 40% of the way through the game. It is at 
this time that you unlock your ability to take to the skies as a dragon, not 
to mention you now have your own base of operations. The Battle Tower 
can effectively serve as your adventuring hub, containing its own small 
band of citizens loyal to your cause such as a blacksmith capable of folding 
enchantments into your weapons and armor, an herbalist with whom you 
can concoct new and additional potions, a necromancer so that you can get 
under the hood of your creature and swap out body parts, and a scout who 
can collect the raw goods and materials used in many useful applications. 

The Battle Tower also has its own storage capacity, which by the time you 
get it will be a godsend considering the . ,jjjr amount of raw goods, 

spare gear, and various recipes and j^Hw encnan tments you will 
have been carrying around by that^jM WT point in the<game. By 
default, your character can ^&k ^p on ^ carr y 100 slots of items, 
and even though multiple^^jH wT Fanny Blossoms will only take 
up one slot of their ^^&R WT own, your inventory space will fill 

up quite ,J-ca3M ^r Quickly. Skill points can be spent into 

your encumbrance to let you carry around 
a larger amount of items, but even then 
you certainly need to keep tabs on your inventory 
space. The nice thing about gaining access to the Battle 
Tower, however, is the stone that you can use to teleport to it 
at any time. Once your loot bags are full, simply teleport back home, 
offload / sell some goods, and then use the stone to teleport back right 
where you were. 




m^-m 



COVER STORY: DIVINITY II: EGO DRACONIS 19 



W 



fa * 



■ 1" ■ .^_J 


in 




i^B^SHB^ 




•\, 










K^x 




0, 



to 
While in the 
your dragon 
mouse to steer 



f course the pinnacle reason of be- 
ing a Dragon Knight is to gain the 
take flight and become a dragon, 
air, you can fairly easily control 
by simply flying around using the 
'and the keyboard buttons to control movement (or using a 
.simple 360 pad control scheme). You will be subject to 
the attacks of airborne enemies, but immune to those on ? 
the ground, just as how while in the ground you cannot 
be harassed by airborne enemies as you deal with ground 
forces. Flying enemies have an additional targeting sym- 
bol around them to help you pick them out more easily, 
but otherwise the combat system and the ability to lock 
on to enemies in the air is handled the same 
as it is while on the ground. 






Air battles are usually much faster in their pacing than 
ground battles are, thanks to both enemies and your own 
dragon form, moving around much more quickly. Since 
the air combat takes place in the skies, you^must worry 
about enemies above and below your altitude as well 
as in your immediate airspace. In addition, y®u will 
often fight larger battles in the air than you do on the 
ground, making aerial combat an overall intense method 
to engage your foes. Occasionally, you must deal with 
ground-based defenses, such as the equivalent of anti- 
air towers, but such pitiful structures usually can't hold 
up for more than a second against your dragon breath. 



\ 



COVER STORY: DIVINITY II: ESQ DRACONIS 



J 





vm i 




'j 



COVER STORY: DIVINITY II: ESQ DRACONIS 21 



I'flTH™ 



^ ^ 











■ 



?2 COVER'STORY: DMN TY : E60 DRAGON S 






w 



hether you are taking it in from the ground or from the air, the envi- * 
ronments of the game all seem to maintain a vibrant and unique look from 
one to the other. At the start of the game, as you make your way through * 
the village of Farglow, you get to appreciate some of the attention to de- 
tail that has been put into the design of its architecture, which is a level 
of detail that is shared throughout the game's towns and villages. As you 
strike out onto your own, you will be battling through goblin hamlets set 
on the ridges of a tall cliff overlooking a valley with a swiftly flowing creek 
at its bed. Upon leaping down to that level, you will look up and see god 
rays from the sun getting cast down through the overhead foliage. 







The game also features a large amount of fully voiced characters, though 
the voice of your own character remains silent as you engage in conver- 
sations with them. Conversing with other characters boils down to lis- 
tening to what the other person has to say, and then picking a response 
from the one or more listed that you can choose from. These responses 
can be good natured, charming, evil, or neutral in nature, running the 
gamut in between, though once a response has been picked the charm (or 
. damage) has been done and you rarely get the chance for a take back, to 
change the outcome. This means that you really need to pay attention 
and take careful consideration into what you say in a conversation, or 
at least keep a handy quick save readily available before you engage in 
one. One thing that the game does not have however is a morality sys- 
tem, so such conversations can take whatever directiQn you wish with- 
out fear of messing up your standing on some moral ground. 

Regardless of what moral path you take, the gameplay oi Divinity II 
will have a lot to offer RPG enthusiasts when it comes out on January 
5th. The game combines a rich and storied lore with its traditional ac- 
tion RPG oriented gameplay, but further expands upon it with the abil- 
ity for you to read the minds of nearly anyone you meet, not to mention 
you are granted the ability to transform into a dragon at will and take 
flight. In either case, keep a sharp eye towards HardcoreGamer.com as 
the game nears its release date for the exclusive first review oi Divinity 
2 just in time for the dawn of the new year. 











COVER STORY: DIVINITY II: EGO DRACONIS_23 



i3 




SCORE < 1 > 
11Z009 



HI-SCORE 
Z00506 



SCORE < 2 > 

OIZOIO 



2010' S 

WONDERFUL WORLD OF 

ARCADES 



BY ADAM PRATT 
ARCADEHEROES. COM 



PRESS START 



24FEATURE: 2010 J S WONDERFUL WORLD OF ARCADES 



CGEDT 



w 



HHILE THIS PAST DECADE HASN'T BEEN PARTICULARLY 
KIND TO THE ARCADE INDUSTRY? THE GOOD NEHS IS THAT 
THINGS ARE LOOKING UP? WITH NORE RELEASES COMING 
OUT THAT ARE TURNING MORE HEADS THAN WE'VE SEEN IN 
A WHILE. BELIEVE IT OR NOT? SEVERAL MANUFACTURERS 
STILL EXIST WHO ARE HARD AT WORK ON A VARIETY OF 
NEW COIN-OP ARCADE TITLES AND HERE IS A PREVIEW OF 
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING THE BEGINNING PART OF 2010 
OR IF YOU'RE LUCKY? SOME OF THESE GAMES MAY AL- 
READY BE AT A LOCATION NEAR YOU? JUST WAITING FOR 
YOUR QUARTERS. 



GLOBALVR 



l - 



AMERICAN MANUFACTURER GLOBALVR 

HAS TAKEN A MORE RELAXED 
APPROACH TO GAME RELEASES IN 
2009 AND WE EXPECT THAT TREND 
TO CONTINUE IN 2010. THEY HAD 
TWO MAJOR GAMES IN 2009? 
JUSTICE LEAGUE: HEROES UNITED 
WHICH SAW A RE-ENTRY BY AN 
ARCADE DEVELOPER INTO THE 
BRAWLER MARKET WITH AN ARCADE 
EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY? AND 
TWISTED: NITRO STUNT RACING? 
WHICH BROUGHT THE UNIQUE PC 
RACING GAME INTO THE ARCADE ARENA WHERE IT COULD BE AP- 
PRECIATED BETTER THANKS TO CABINET SETUP. 

A REQUEST FOR INFORMATION WAS MADE TO GLOBALVR ABOUT 
WHAT WE MIGHT EXPECT TO SEE FROM THEM IN 2010 BUT 
THEY REMAINED SILENT ON THE PROSPECTS. THE COMPANY HAS 
GAINED A LITTLE BIT OF A REPUTATION FOR PORTING HOME 
CONSOLE GAMES TO ARCADES AND ADDING AN ARCADE TWIST TO 
THEM SO PERHAPS WE WILL SEE THE TREND CONTINUE. JUSTICE 
LEAGUE WAS A NOTABLE SURPRISE HOWEVER AS THAT WAS NOT 
A PORT OF A PRE-EXISTING GAME SO TIME WILL TELL AS TO 
WHAT THE COMPANY PLANS ON DOING NEXT YEAR. 



FEATURE: 2010'S WONDERFUL WORLD OF ARCADES_25 



i3 




»ILI 



INCREDIBLE 
TECHNOLOGIES 



INCREDIBLE TECHNOLOGIES HAS ALHAYS BEEN A STRONG PLAY- 
ER IN THE OUT-OF-HOME ENTERTAINMENT SECTOR* THANKS IN 
PART TO THEIR EVER POPULAR GOLDEN TEE SERIES. IN 2009* 
GOLDEN TEE SAW IT'S 2 1ST BIRTHDAY, HHICH HAS CELEBRATED 
HITH THE RELEASE OF GOLDEN TEE LIVE 2010. THE GAME RE- 
INTRODUCED SKINS PLAY TO THE GAME AND IT ALSO INTRO- 
DUCED A FACE- 




l I 




FULL BACK 



\ WIND 

yz MPH 



BOOK FEATURE 
HHERE PLAYERS 
COULD UPDATE 
THEIR FACE- 
BOOK STATUS 
FROM THE GAME 
STATING THAT 
THEY HERE IN 
THE PROCESS OF 
PLAYING GOLDEN 
TEE. IN 2009> 
THE COMPANY 
ALSO SAH A KIT 



WARNING! HITTING THE TRACK BALL WITH EXCESSIVE ■WINDS - 
fORCE WAV CAUSE INJURV PLEASE PLAY WITH CARE "* 



N^I2_ 


^'liiifc — ■ 


^S^rT^i Jl | in., j 




Win \ % ANGLE 


lllmJSA 


£ 


v '. ml \ t \ ** ^h i ^rr^ni 


i mm *■/■*/ * J 1 ■ J ** 


S\ 




/ HBQ 


W 










/- 




* 


**^kmmmWmf&3UaL 



RELEASE OF AN UPDATE TO / 

ONE OF THEIR BAR GAMES J- ! 

TOSS PRO BAGS HITH LAHN 

DARTS. INCREDIBLE 

TECHNOLOGIES HAS BEEN A 

STRONG SUPPORTER OF ONLINE 

FUNCTIONALITY AS HELL AS 

ONLINE TOURNAMENTS HITH 

SUBSTANTIAL PRIZES, MAKING 

HAVES THROUGHOUT THE YEAR 

HITH THEIR BOULAPALOOZA CONTENT. HHILE NO NATIONAL 

TOURNAMENTS HAVE YET BEEN ANNOUNCED FOR 2010* MANY EX 

PECT TO SEE THEM SOON. 



5 WONDERFUL WORLD OF ARCADES 



AS FOR WHAT TO EXPECT 
FROM IT IN THE FIRST 
PART OF 2010) THEV JUST 
ANNOUNCED THAT SILVER 
STRIKE LIVE HILL BE MAK- 
ING IT'S HAV OUT IN Ol 
ZOIO. THIS NEH TITLE 
HILL MAKE EVERY GAME 
AN ONLINE GAME AND VOU 
CAN CHOOSE TO EITHER 
PLAV FOR FUN OR PLAV FOR 
CASH ON EVERV TURN. THE 
GAME HILL ALSO OFFER A 
LARGE NUMBER OF CUSTOM- 
IZATION OPTIONS FROM THE 
BALL DESIGN^ TO CHARAC- 
TER CLOTHING^ HHAT HAND 
THEV USE AND MORE. JUST 
THE FACT THAT VOU HAVE A 
CHANCE TO HIN CASH WITH 
EVERV GAME IF VOU SO 
CHOOSE CFOR $1 EXTRA > COULD MEAN THAT THE ATTENTION 
ON THIS VERSION OF SILVER STRIKE BOWLING WILL BE A 
BIG PLUS) ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING THE FACT THAT THERE 
ARE ALREADY THOUSANDS OF SSB GAMES PLAYED ONLINE 
CURRENTLV. SILVER STRIKE LIVE HILL BE OFFERED IN IN- 
CREDIBLE TECHNOLOGIES PEDESTAL CABINET HHICH HAS BE- 
COME THE STANDARD FOR ALL IT GAMES ACROSS THE BOARD. 



AS FAR AS OTHER PROJECTS GO) RECENTLY A PRODUCER ON 
ONE OF THEIR DEVELOPMENT TEAMS HENT PUBLIC ABOUT A 
TITLE HE WAS WORKING ON AT THE COMPANY AND HAS SLOG- 
GING ABOUT THE PROGRESS OF THE GAME THROUGH IT'S DE- 
VELOPMENT PHASE) BUT FOR UNKNOHN REASONS THE GAME 
HAS CANCELED AND THE TEAM HAS REASSIGNED TO ANOTHER 
PROJECT. 



KONAMI 



FOR THE PAST FEU YEARS* KONAMI HAS MAINTAINED A STRONG 
ARCADE PRESENCE IN BOTH JAPAN AND EUROPE BUT THE US HAS 
SADLY PUT TO THE SIDE UNTIL 2009. HHILE WE STILL DIDN'T 
GET THE CHANCE TO HAS CASTLEVANIA: THE ARCADE GAME OR 
GTI CLUB SUPERMINI FESTA BROUGHT TO OUR SHORES* KONAMI 
DID DECIDE TO BRING A COUPLE OF HIGH-PROFILE RELEASES 
TO THE SCENE. FIRST* THEY SURPRISED EVERYONE BY COLLAB- 
ORATING WITH RAW THRILLS' AND ACTIVISION ON THE ARCADE 
RELEASE OF GUITAR HERO IN MARCH. AT THE SAME TIME THEY 
ALSO BROUGHT THE LATEST VERSION OF DANCE DANCE REVOLU- 
TION TO THE US* DDRX. THIS TITLE WAS MARRED AT FIRST BY 
SOME NAGGING ISSUES THAT DEDICATED DDR PLAYERS BROUGHT 
TO EVERYONE'S ATTENTION* BUT FORTUNATELY* KONAMI LIS- 
TENED AND ADDRESSED THE PROBLEMS. 



SINCE THEN* KONAMI HAS CONTINUED TO ANNOUNCE TITLES FOR 
FOREIGN MARKETS INCLUDING MOCAP SPORTS* WHICH WILL SEE 
A RETURN TO THE MOCAP LABEL WITH NEW MOTION CONTROLS 
THAT BY FIRST APPEARANCES LOOK MUCH LIKE WHAT SONY HAS 
DEMONSTRATED RECENTLY ON THE PLAYSTATION 3* BUT IN 
PRACTICE REPORTEDLY ARE MORE SIMILAR TO WHAT NINTEN- 
DO PROVIDES WITH THE WII. THE GAME WILL INCLUDE THREE 
SPORTS TO CHOOSE FROM INCLUDING BOXING* TENNIS AND 
BASEBALL AND THE LARGE 
CABINET ALLOWS FOR TWO 
PLAYERS TO COMPETE 
AGAINST EACH OTHER. IT 
IS ASSUMED* ALBEIT NOT 
CONFIRMED AT THIS TIME* 
THAT KONAMI WILL BRING 
MOCAP SPORTS OVER TO 
THE US* SINCE PREVIOUS 
MOCAP TITLES HAD SEEN A 
RELEASE IN THE STATES 
EARLIER IN THE DECADE. 



tffl 



5 WONDERFUL WORLD OF ARCADES 




STYLE 



V 



eQG3SGS 



THEV ALSO MADE A MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT AT THIS 
YEAR'S E3 SHOW, WITH METAL GEAR ARCADE. CON- 
TRARY TO SOME NEMS REPORTS; MGA HILL SEE A US 
RELEASE SOMETIME IN 2010 AND IN ADDITION TO IN- 
CLUDING CONNECTED PLAY WITH PS3 METAL GEAR ON- 
LINE USERS; THE TITLE WILL ALSO UTILIZE A SPE- 
CIAL 3D GOGGLES SYSTEM; THE LIKES OF WHICH WE 
HAVEN'T SEEN IN THE ARCADE INDUSTRY IN QUITE A 
FEW YEARS C THINK OF TAITO'S CONTINENTAL CIRCUIT 
3D; THEY WILL BE 
SIMILAR TO THAT 
BUT MODERNIZED >. 
BETWEEN THE ONLINE 
FEATURES; EXCELLENT 
GRAPHICS AND A ^«*k 
UNIQUE CABINET 
SETUP; MGA COULD 
BE A BIG PLAYER 
IN 2010 AS IT 
CARRIES WITH IT 
ONE OF THE 
BIGGEST NAMES 
IN GAMING AND 
THE ADDED ONLINE 
CONNECTIVITY 
COULD EQUAL 
REPLAY VALUE FOR ' 
ARCADE FANS. 



mm 



itfcN '>&/St Bas^Si 



flfc <*} 



I 





i3 




»lil 



NAMCO GAVE US SOME INTERESTING OFFERINGS AT THE BEGIN- 
NING OF Z009 WITH THE SPIRITUAL FOLLOW-UP TO CRISIS ZONE 
CALLED RAZING STORM AND A SLICK MOTORCVCLE-RACING GAME 
CALLED NIRIN. HHILE THE REST OF THE VEAR HAS BEEN FAIR- 
LY QUIET REGARDING NEW ARCADE RELEASES FROM THE COMPA- 
NY? THEY ARE STARTING OUT 2010 WITH A BANG THANKS TO THE 
NEW TANK! TANK! TANK! AS STRANGE AS THE TITLE SOUNDS? THE 
GAME HAS ALREADY WOWED PLAYERS ARE DIFFERENT INDUSTRY 
TRADE SHOWS AND IT TAKES US BACK TO A TIME WHEN THERE WAS 
MORE DOMINATING THE ARCADE THAN JUST RACING GAMES. 

TANK! TANK! TANK! COMBINES ELEMENTS FROM NAMCO'S OWN TO- 
KYO WARS C1996? ARCADES > AND EARTH DEFENSE FORCE 2017? 
WHERE PLAYERS CAN WORK TOGETHER TO DECIMATE LARGE CIT- 
IES ALONG WITH THE CREATURES INFESTING THEM. THE 
CABINET PROVIDES A UNIQUE STYLE TO THIS GAME? WHERE 
IT FEATURES A HIGH-DEF SCREEN SET VERTICALLY IN FRONT 
OF THE PLAYER AND IT ALSO UTILIZES TECHNOLOGY THAT 
THE COMPANY HAS USED PREVIOUSLY IN ARCADE TITLES LIKE 
MARIO KART GP? WITH A CAMERA AVATAR SYSTEM THAT ALLOWS 
YOU TO CREATE YOUR OWN AVATAR USING SEVERAL PRE- 
DEFINED OVERLAYS. TANK! TANK! TANK! COMES IN TWIN 
CONFIGURATIONS ONLY SO THAT ALL PLAYERS WILL HAVE THE 
CHANCE TO SIT DOWN WITH A FRIEND AND WREAK HAVOC. TWO 
UNITS CAN BE LINKED TOGETHER FOR A TOTAL OF FOUR 
PLAYERS. IN ADDITION TO CO-OP MODES? THE GAME DOES 
FEATURE A DEATHMATCH MODE WHERE PLAYERS CAN DUKE IT 
OUT HEAD -TO -HEAD. 



NOT ONES TO SHY AWAY FROM A LIGHT- 
GUN OFFERING? NAMCO ALSO HAS 
DEMONSTRATED A NEW CONCEPT IN THE 
GUN ARENA IN JAPAN WITH DEAD STORM 
PIRATES. NOT A LOT OF INFORMATION 
IS AVAILABLE ON THIS TITLE YET? 
ALTHOUGH IT IS SIMILAR TO SEGA ' S 
LET'S GO JUNGLE? WHERE PLAYERS SIT 
INSIDE OF A LARGE COCKPIT-STYLE 
CABINET AND THEY CONTROL MOUNTED 
GUNS FOR THE ON-SCREEN BLASTING 
ACTION. A COUPLE OF THINGS THAT 
SET THIS APART ARE A MOTION-BASE 
FOR THE WHOLE CABINET AND A NEW 
RUDDER CONTROLLER THAT ALLOWS 
PLAYERS TO STEER THE SHIP DURING 
CERTAIN SCENES IN THE GAME. WE CAN 
ONLY GUESS AS TO WHETHER OR NOT 
WE'LL SEE DEAD STORM PIRATES IN 
VENUES OUTSIDE OF JAPAN BUT THE 
VERY NATURE OF THIS GAME SUGGESTS 
THAT IT WILL APPEAL TO WESTERN 
AUDIENCES. 

NAMCO IS ALSO PLANNING TO RELEASE 
A NEW RACER IN THE US AT THE 
BEGINNING OF 2010 BUT AT THE TIME 
OF WRITING? NO DETAILS WERE 
AVAILABLE ON THIS TITLE. 



iKiah 



■ — — ,Jj 




. -.— .-Li 

i anwr - ' 





s^Ditsmz^ 1 



mmm 



- 



RAM THRILLS 



THIS COMPANY LED BV LEGENDARY GAME DESIGNER EUGENE JAR- 
VIS MADE SOME FANTASTIC STRIDES FOR ARCADES IN 2009? AND 
WITH THAT? THEY HAVE BEEN GAINING SOME HELL-DESERVED RE- 
SPECT AND ATTENTION FROM THOSE MHO NORMALLY DO NOT COVER 
ARCADE GAMING. THEY STARTED THE YEAR HITH A PORT OF GUITAL 
HERO 3 FOR ARCADES C APTLY CALLED GUITAR HERO ARCADE > HHICH 
SAM STRONG SALES AS MANY LOCATIONS THAT HEREN'T PART OF 
THE TRADITIONAL ARCADE SCENE PICKED UP ON THE TITLE. THEY 
FOLLOHED THAT UP HITH A SURPRISE? A REMAKE OF MIDHAY'S HY- 
DRO THUNDER CALLED H20VERDRIVE. THIS ORIGINAL TITLE HAS 
PUT TOGETHER BY THE SAME TEAM HHO HORKED ON HYDRO THUNDER, 
BUT IT SAH A NUMBER OF MODERN IMPROVEMENTS* FROM STUNNING 
GRAPHICS TO SOLID AND ADDICTING GAMEPLAY. THEY ALSO RE- 
LEASED A MAJOR UPDATE TO THEIR BEST-SELLING BIG BUCK HUNT- 
ER PRO HITH BIG BUCK HUNTER: OPEN SEASON, HHICH ADDED A 
NUMBER OF IMPROVEMENTS TO THE ORIGINAL GAMEPLAY. 

AS FOR HHAT IS NEXT ON RAH THRILLS' PLATE? BY THE TIME 
YOU READ THIS? THEIR LATEST TITLE* TERMINATOR: SALVATION 
HILL HAVE HIT ARCADE-VENUES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THIS IS A 
LIGHT-GUN TITLE THAT HAS PUT TOGETHER BY THE SAME TEAMS 
HHO MADE THE RECENT ALIENS: EXTERMINATION AND IT EVEN HAS 
SOME VETERAN ARCADE DEVELOPERS ON BOARD HHO HORKED ON TI- 
TLES LIKE MIDWAY'S CARNEVIL. TERMINATOR SALVATION LETS 
PLAYERS MOH DOHN HORDES OF ROBOTS USING LARGE GUNS SIMILAR 
TO SOME OF SEGA'S DELUXE LIGHT-GUN GAMES. 




RUMOR HAS IT THAT IN 2010? THE COMPANY IS HORKING ON A 
GAME NAMED DAYTONA? BUT AT THE TIME OF WRITING? THAT RE- 
MAINS A RUMOR. INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH? YOU CAN FIND A PAGE 
SET ASIDE FOR A GAME ON THEIR HEBSITE BY THE NAME OF THAT 
VERY GAME (SEGA LOST THE RIGHTS TO DAYTONA A COUPLE OF 

YEARS AGO AND IT SEEMS 
THAT RAH THRILLS' HERE 
THE ONES TO PICK IT UP> 
AND NOH THAT SEGA IS GO- 
ING TO RELEASE AN UPDATE 
TO DAYTONA UNDER A DIF- 
FERENT NAME? HE HILL HAVE 
TO HAIT AND SEE HOH RAH 
THRILLS' HILL REACT. 
i THERE ALSO HAS BEEN TALK 
OF A NEH FIGHTER AS HELL 
AS A SPORTS GAME COMING 
OUT OF THE COMPANY SOME- 
TIME BUT UNTIL THE COM- 
PANY GETS AROUND TO MAK- 
ING SOME OFFICIAL 
ANNOUNCEMENTS? HE HILL 
JUST HAVE TO HAIT AND 
SEE. 




TO CHALLENGE 



iK 




»ILI 



IF I COULD USE ONE WORD TO DESCRIBE WHAT SEGA ' S ARCADE 
DIVISION WAS UP TO IN 2009) IT WOULD BE "BUSY. " THEV 
STARTED THE YEAR OFF WITH SEVERAL NEW ENTRIES INTO THE 
RACING GENRE, INCLUDING THE AM2 DEVELOPED R- TUNED STREET 
RACING^ HARLEY DAVIDSON: KING OF THE ROAD AND HUMMER EX- 
TREME. THEY ALSO REVEALED A COUPLE OF SPORTS RELATED 
TITLES AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR: SEGA BASS FISHING 
CHALLENGE AND SEGA CLAY CHALLENGE. LATER IN THE YEAR) 
SEGA RE -DEVELOPED HUMMER EXTREME AND RELEASED IT IN A 
MUCH MORE AFFORDABLE AND COMPACT SIZE USING THE SAME 
CABINET DESIGN THAT THEY HAD DEVELOPED FOR SEGA RALLY 
3. ON TOP OF THAT) THEY REVEALED TWO NEW HARDWARE PLAT- 
FORMS WHICH WILL POWER THEIR GAMES IN 2010 (AND FOR THE 
FORESEEABLE FUTURE > CALLED RINGEDGE AND RINGHIDE) RE- 
SPECTIVELY. RINGEDGE FEATURES MORE POWERFUL HARDWARE AND 
THUS WILL END UP COSTING MORE! RINGWIDE IS FOR MORE ECO- 
NOMIC MINDED GAMES. 



*h.. *; 



ONE OF THE BIG SURPRISES TO COME OUT OF SEGA THIS YEAR 
WOULD HAVE TO BE SEGA CARD GEN. THIS IS A CARD -BASED 
GAME WHERE A SPECIALIZED BASEBALL CARD IS DISPENSED EV- 
ERY TIME YOU PLAY) WHICH ARE USED TO PLAY A GAME OF 
BASEBALL USING A TOUCH SCREEN PANEL. AS THE PLAYER) YOU 
TAKE THE CARDS AND BUILD A TEAM BY PLACING THE CARDS 
INTO STAND UP READERS THAT ARE LOCATED ABOVE THE SCREEN. 
THE READERS LOOK AT THE DATA ON THE CARDS AND USE THE 
PLAYER STATS TO CREATE YOUR TEAM. AFTER THAT) YOU PLAY A 
STANDARD GAME OF BASEBALL) 
SELECTING PITCHES AND AIMING WITH 
THE BAT BY USING YOUR FINGER. WITH 
OVER 300 CARDS TO COLLECT) THIS 
GAME APPEALS TO VIDEO GAME FANS) 
SPORTS FANS AND CARD COLLECTORS 
ALIKE. SEGA CARD GEN IS SLATED TO 
BE RELEASED SOMETIME IN EARLY 2010 
AND FROM THE LOOKS OF IT) I BELIEVE 
THAT THE CABINET COULD BE UPGRADED 
IN THE FUTURE TO MAKE USE OF DIFF- 
ERENT SPORTS ALTHOUGH SUCH FEATURES 
HAVE NOT BEEN CONFIRMED AT THIS 
TIME. 







32_FEATURE: 2010'S WONDERFUL WORLD OF ARCADES 



ANOTHER SURPRISE THAT SEGA HAS OFFERED US IS A REMAKE OF 
ONE OF THEIR BEST-SELLING ARCADE GAMES OF ALL TIME, DAY- 
TONA. THE NEW GAME CALLED SEGA RACING CLASSIC CAS PREVI- 
OUSLY MENTIONED? THE RIGHTS TO THE DAVTONA NAME COULD NOT 
BE OBTAINED BV SEGA) IS THE FIRST GAME TO MAKE USE OF SE- 
GA ' S RING WIDE HARDWARE. THE NEW GAME WILL FEATURE A 32" 
LCD SCREEN @ 12S0X720P RESOLUTION* NEW TRACKS? NEW MUSIC? 
A NEW BILLBOARD LEADER DISPLAY AND GAMEPLAY SIMILAR TO 
WHAT DAYTONA FANS HAVE COME TO KNOW AND LOVE OVER ALL OF 
THESE YEARS. HOW SEGA RACING CLASSIC WILL BE RECEIVED BY 
DAYTONA FANS ACROSS THE GLOBE REMAINS TO BE SEEN. IT HAS 
SOME LARGE SHOES TO FILL? CONSIDERING THE LASTING POPU- 
LARITY THAT IT'S PREDECESSORS HAVE ENJOYED IN ARCADES? 
BUT WITHOUT A DOUBT? THIS IS ONE TITLE TO WATCH IN 2010. 



SEGA HAS DEMONSTRATED A NUMBER OF INTERESTING NEW TI- 
TLES IN JAPAN? BUT FOR THE MOMENT? IT REMAINS TO BE SEEN 
WHETHER THE COMPANY WILL BRING ANY OF THESE PRODUCTS TO 
THE US FOR AN OFFICIAL DISTRIBUTOR. THIS INCLUDES AN IN- 
NOVATIVE NEW CONCEPT IN THE FIELD OF AIR HOCKEY CALLED 
HEAT UP HOCKEY. HUH DEPLOYS A VIDEO PROJECTION SYSTEM 
ONTO THE AIR HOCKEY PLAY FIELD? SO INSTEAD OF DEALING 
WITH A SIMPLE FIELD THAT PLAYERS KNOCK A PUCK BACK AND 
FORTH ON? THE PLAY FIELD BECOMES A DYNAMIC PART OF THE 
GAME. PLAYERS WILL NEED TO DEAL WITH BOTH VIRTUAL TAR- 
GETS AS WELL AS VIRTUAL PUCKS. AS INNOVATIVE AS HEAT UP 
HOCKEY HAPPENS TO BE? THE TECHNOLOGY USED ALSO MEANS THAT 
IT WILL BE EXPENSIVE. IN FACT? ONE SOURCE SAID IT WILL 
"PROBABLY BE COST PROHIBITIVE FOR MOST OPERATORS" SO IN 
THE EVENT THAT HUH MAKES IT TO US SHORES? YOU'LL PROBABLY 
FIND IT AT LARGER VENUES THAT HAVE THE PURCHAS- 
ING POWER TO PICK THE GAME UP. 

SEGA ALSO HAS FALLEN BACK IN LOVE 
WITH TETRIS AND IN JAPAN. THEY RE- 
CENTLY DEMONSTRATED TWO VERY DIFFER- 
ENT ARCADE VARIATIONS ON THE IDEA? 
FIRST WITH TETRIS THE GRANDMASTER 4 
AND THEN WITH GIANT TETRIS. TGM4 
WILL CONTINUE THE TRADITION OF 
OFFERING TETRIS PUZZLES AT AN AD- 
VANCED DIFFICULTY FOR MOST PLAYERS? 
BUT THIS TIME IT WILL FEATURE BRIGHT 
BACKGROUNDS. GIANT TETRIS HAPPENS TO 
I BE EXACTLY WHAT YOU THINK IT IS - 
-, A GIANT VERSION OF TETRIS. EVERY- 
THING ABOUT GAME IS HUGE? FROM THE 
SCREEN? TO THE GRAPHICS? TO THE JOY- 
STICKS THAT ARE ABOUT THE SIZE OF 
BASKETBALLS. GIANT TETRIS IS MEANT 
FOR QUICK BURSTS OF FUN AND I BE- 
LIEVE THAT IT WILL BE A PERFECT CAN- 
DIDATE FOR A US RELEASE? AS LONG AS 
OPERATORS CAN AFFORD TO BUY ONE. 





FEATURE: 2010'S WONDERFUL WORLD OF ARCADES_33 



i3 




»ILI 



VIDEO GAMES AND PINBALL PRESENT TWO COMPLETELV DIF- 
FERENT STYLES OF GAMING^ BUT ONE THING THAT BRINGS 
THEM TOGETHER ARE ARCADES. THE WORLD'S LAST PINBALL 
MAKER IS POISED TO KEEP THE FINE ART OF PINBALL 
GAMING ALIVE IN 2010. IF ANYTHING, PINBALL CAN MAR- 
KET ITSELF AS THE ONE GAME WITH THE MOST REALISTIC 
GRAPHICS AND PHYSICS AVAILABLE. 

STERN HAD A DECENT YEAR THROUGH 2009 WITH FOUR RE- 
LEASES - CSIj 24) NBA PINBALL AND LORD OF THE RINGS 
SPECIAL EDITION. IT REMAINS TO BE SEEN HOW PLAYERS 
FEEL ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE AND QUALITY OF THESE TI- 
TLES) BUT NO MATTER WHAT YOUR FEELINGS ARE) THEY 
HAVE KEPT THE IDEA GOING. 

IN JANUARY) STERN WILL BEGIN SHIPPING BIG BUCK 
HUNTER PINBALL WHICH IS AN INTERESTING DEPARTURE 
FROM THE OTHER LICENSES THE COMPANY HAS SOUGHT OUT 
IN THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS. WITH BIG BUCK HUNTER 
MAINTAINING IT'S POPULARITY AS A TOP EARNER IN THE 
COIN-OP BUSINESS C THANKS IN THE MOST PART TO THE 
BAR SCENE >) IT SHOULD BE INTERESTING TO SEE IF THE 
SAME CROWD WILL APPRECIATE THE PINBALL VARIATION OF 
THIS GAME TOO. 



RUMOR HAS IT THAT AFTER BIG BUCK HUNTER PINBALL) 
THE COMPANY WILL CREATE A PIN BASED UPON THE IRON 
MAN MOVIES JUST IN TIME FOR THE RELEASE OF IRON MAN 
2. BEYOND THAT) IT'S ANYONE'S GUESS AS TO WHAT THEY 
WILL TRY NEXT) ALTHOUGH I PERSONALLY WOULD LOVE TO 
SEE THEM GIVE SOME LOVE TO TRON) WHICH JUST SO HAP- 
PENS TO HAVE A NEW MOVIE COMING OUT NEXT YEAR. ON 
TOP OF THAT I WOULD ALSO LOVE TO SEE THEM DUMP THE 
MONOCHROME DOT MATRIX DISPLAYS IN FAVOR OF EITHER 
FULL COLOR DMDS OR SMALL LCD SCREENS. 




I HAVE COVERED WHAT 
THE BIG NAMES IN THE ARCADE INDUSTRY WILL BE BRINGING 
TO THE US IN THE NEXT LITTLE WHILE) BUT WHAT ABOUT THE 
LITTLE GUYS? ARE THERE ANY LITTLE GUYS IN THE INDUSTRY 
ANYMORE? THE ANSWER IS YES AND THEY ARE ALL HARD AT WORK 
ON SOME FASCINATING PROJECTS) WHICH I AM GOING TO TAKE A 
LOOK AT HERE. 



34FEATURE: 2010'S WONDERFUL WORLD OF ARCADES 



HARDCORE GAMER MAGAZINEJ/OWME 5JSSUE 2Jennij quiid, hamburgler 



DARK 



THROUGH MOST OF THIS PAST DECADE, ONE-ON-ONE FIGHT- 
ERS DIDN'T RECEIVE NEAR AS MUCH LOVE AS THEV HAD SEEN 
IN THE 90'S? UNTIL STREET FIGHTER IV CAME ALONG AND EV- 
ERYONE HAS SEEMINGLY FELL IN LOVE HITH THE IDEA ONCE 
AGAIN. THAT ISN'T THE CASE HITH INDEPENDENT DEVELOPER 
GALLOPING GHOST? HOHEVER. THEY HAVE ALHAYS LOVED THEIR 
FIGHTING GAMES AND HITH THEIR NEH TITLE DARK PRESENCE? 
THEY ARE OUT TO PROVE JUST THAT. 

THE FIRST THING THAT EVERYONE NOTICES ABOUT DARK PRES- 
ENCE IS THE FACT THAT IS USES DIGITIZED ACTORS - JUST 
LIKE HITH MORTAL KOMBAT? BUT THIS TIME IN HD HITH THOU- 
SANDS OF MORE FRAMES PER CHARACTER. THE DEVS SPENT 
THO YEARS FILMING EACH ACTOR PULLING OFF EACH OF THEIR 
MOVES HITH EVERY OTHER CHARACTER AND FROM BOTH SIDES. 
A FEH OF THE ACTORS HAVE MARTIAL ARTS TRAINING AND 
SOME OF THE ACTORS USED IN THE ORIGINAL MORTAL KOMBAT 
DROPPED BY TO HELP OUT. EVEN THE HEAPONS USED BY EACH 
CHARACTER HERE REAL AND ON MORE THAN ONE OCCASION? AN 
ACTOR HAS SENT TO THE HOSPITAL FOR RELATED INJURIES. 
THE FINAL RESULT IS A FLUID EXPERIENCE THAT TRANSLATES 
INTO AN EERILY REALISTIC FIGHTER EXPERIENCE THAT HILL 
FEATURE NOT ONLY UNIQUE GRAPHICS BUT INNOVATIVE AND 
STRATEGIC COMBAT AS HELL. DARK PRESENCE ALSO FEATURES 
ONLINE CONNECTIVITY HHICH HILL BE USED TO ADJUST THE 
GAME ENVIRONMENTS TO MIMIC THE SAME HEATHER PATTERNS AS 
THE AREA HHERE THE PLAYER FINDS THEMSELVES? A USB THUMB 
DRIVE SAVE FEATURE HHERE YOU CAN DOHNLOAD A CHARACTER'S 
STORYLINE AND MORE TO TAKE IT HITH YOU? AN OPTIONAL 
PRIZE VENDING FEATURE AND EVEN AN OPTIONAL (OPERATOR'S 
CHOICE > SHOCK BAND DEVICE THAT PLAYERS CAN HEAR FOR A 
SMALL "REGULATED" SHOCK IN CASE YOU GET HIT. 



THE AMOUNT OF DETAIL THAT GALLOPING GHOST HAS PUT INTO 
THE GAME IS NOTHING SHORT OF ASTOUNDING AND IT IS EX- 
PECTED THAT THIS GAME HILL SEE A RELEASE SOMETIME IN 
2010. YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE BY VISITING 
HTTP: //GALLOP INGGHOST. COM. _i_«^^T" 



KIN KADE *£ '7| TITAN: 




FEATURE: 2010'S WONDERFUL WORLD OF ARCADES_35 



Em 




^— ■— L T/ 1 T TJ"^fcll FRICTION IS ft NEW LIGHT-GUN 
|— If fU TITLE THftT IS THE FIRST GAME 

■^ ^UT-T ■ -kl—TH ^ TO C oME TO US FROM FRICTION 
GAME STUDIOS. THE TEAM BEHIND THIS ONE ALREADV HAS EX- 
PERIENCE WITH DEVELOPING ARCADE TITLES AND ONE GUV ON 
THE TEAM HAS EVEN DONE SPECIAL EFFECTS WORK FOR BIG HOL- 
LYWOOD MOVIES* INCLUDING TRANSFORMERS; SPEED RACER* PI- 
RATES 3 AND MORE. 

THE STORV BEHIND FRICTION IS SHORT AND SIMPLE. VOU ARE 
AN AGENT HIRED BV THE GOVERNMENT TO INFILTRATE AN ORGA- 
NIZATION WHO IS DEVELOPING TRANSFORMING ROBOTS WHO WILL 
BE USED TO WAGE A WAR WITH HUMANS. PLAYERS ENGAGE THESE 
ENEMIES WITH A STANDARD SET OF GUNS BUT THE GAME WILL 
REWARD YOU WITH POWER-UPS THAT RANGE FROM MACHINE GUNS 
TO ROCKET LAUNCHERS AS YOU PROGRESS THROUGH THE LEVELS. 
I WAS ABLE TO SEE AN EARLY BUILD OF THE GAME RUNNING ON 
A LAPTOP AND IT LOOKED VERY SLICK AT THE TIME* WHICH 
WAS OVER A YEAR AGO. SINCE THEN THEY HAVE IMPROVED THE 
GRAPHICS* ADDED MORE ENEMIES AND BOSSES AND TWEAKED THE 
ENVIRONMENTS TO PROVIDE A SHOOTER EXPERIENCE THAT SHOULD 
STAND OUT ON ITS OWN IN ARCADES. EVERYTHING IN THE GAME 
IS IN 3D AND EVEN HAS A FEW DESTRUCTIVE ENVIRONMENTS FOR 
PLAYERS TO TEAR UP.* 
AT TIMES* THE PATH i 
YOU FOLLOW CHANGES 
DEPENDING UPON 
WHAT YOU SHOT. 

AT THE TIME OF 
WRITING' THE GAME 
WAS GOING THROUGH 
THE TESTING PHASE 
AND BARRING ANY 
ISSUES' THE GAME 
SHOULD SEE A RE- 
LEASE IN 20 IO. 
THANKS TO A COM- 
PETITIVE PRICE TAG' 
IT WON' T SET 
OPERATORS BACK AN 
ARM AND A LEG JUST 
TO PURCHASE ONE. 
MORE INFORMATION 
CAN BE FOUND ON 
THEIR WEBSITE' 
HTTP: //WWW. FRICTIONGAMESTUDIOS. COM 



36FEATURE: 2010'S WONDERFUL WORLD OF ARCADES 



BACK IN THE "GOLDEN AGE" OF ARCADE GAMING, IT 
HASN'T UNCOMMON TO HEAR OF GAME DEVELOPMENT BEING 
HANDLED BV ONE PERSON, BUT THAT HAS MOSTLY DUE TO 
THE FACT THAT THE GAMES FOR A TIME HERE FAR MORE 
SIMPLE TO DESIGN AND IMPLEMENT THAN THEV HAVE BE- 
COME. THESE DAYS HEARING OF ONE MAN DEVELOPING A 
COIN-OP GAME IS PRACTICALLY UNHEARD OF) BUT IT CAN 
HAPPEN^ AS IS THE CASE HITH GET OUTTA MY FACE!? BY 
HILL BRIERLY. 



THE CONCEPT BEHIND GET OUTTA MY FACE! FEELS LIKE A 
CLASSIC GAME IN IT'S IMPLEMENTATION, AS THE PREM- 
ISE IS VERY SIMPLE. YOU ARE A BLUE CUBE AND YOU 
ARE TRYING TO FIND OUT UHY AND HHAT YOU ARE. YOU 
DO THIS BY SURVIVING EACH STAGE - AVOIDING THE 
GRASP OF MALICIOUS CUBES HHO CHASE YOU AROUND THE 
SCREEN FOR AN ALLOTTED AMOUNT OF TIME. THE PLAYER 
NEEDS TO STRATEGICALLY USE THEIR SURROUNDINGS AS 
A SHIELD FROM THESE BAD CUBES) SOME OF HHICH CAN 
BE MANIPULATED DIRECTLY BY THE PLAYER. THANKS TO 
UNIQUE GRAPHICS AND SIMPLISTIC CONTROLS) GET OUTTA 
MY FACE! IS AN EASY GAME TO APPROACH DESPITE ITS 
DEPARTURE FROM THE TYPICAL STYLE OF GAME THAT MOST 
ARCADES FEATURE IN TODAY'S UORLD. 



GET OUTTA MY FACE! 
HAS BEEN SEEN A A 
NUMBER OF DIFFER- 
ENT GAME SHOUS BUT 
AT THE TIME OF 
WRITING, A RELEASE 
DATE HAS NOT SET 
IN STONE) ALTHOUGH 
THE DEVELOPER IS 
LOOKING INTO GET- 
TING THE GAME 
MANUFACTURED FOR 
SALE TO THE GEN- 
ERAL PUBLIC IN 
ZO lO. MORE 
INFORMATION CAN BE 
FOUND AT 



Health 



mmmt !^ 


■ -^^^^^^^^| 


1 m k 


I 





Countdown375 




HTTP: //GB TOUT ARCADE. COM 




FEATURE: 2010'S WONDERFUL WORLD OF ARCADES_37 



i3 





OBO-BASHO 



THE GREAT ■ I THING ABOUT THE ARCADE SECTOR 
IS THAT 1 J GAME SELECTION ISN'T LIMITED 
SOLELY TO ^^^^M VIDEO GAMES - THERE ARE OTHER 
EXPERIENCES THAT DEVELOPERS CAN PROVIDE THAT GO 
ABOVE AND BEYOND WHAT IS FEASIBLE IN A HOME SET- 
TING. THAT IS THE IDEA BEHIND THE NEH ROBO-BASHO? 
WHICH IS A NEW TITLE IN-DEVELOPMENT BY ROBOTIC 
AMUSEMENTS. IN ROBO-BASHO? PLAYERS TAKE CONTROL 
OF SUMO WRESTLING ROBOTS AND ATTEMPT TO PUSH THE 
OPPOSING PLAYER OVER. THE ROBOTS ARE HOUSED IN- 
SIDE OF AN ENCLOSED CABINET THAT KEEPS THE ROBOTS 
BOTH MAINTAINED AND PROTECTED? WHILE PROVIDING THE 
SCORE. IF THE GAME PROVES TO BE A SUCCESS WHEN IT 
IS RELEASED IN 2010? THE COMPANY RESPONSIBLE FOR 
IT PLANS ON CREATING OTHER ROBOTIC COIN-OP GAMES 
AS WELL. MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND ON THEIR 
WEBSITE? HTTP: //WWW. ROBOTICAMUSEMENTS. COM. 




TITAN 



GAMES 



IT WAS REVEALED IN LATE OCTOBER THAT A NEW COMPANY 
WAS JOINING THE FRAY OF AMUSEMENT GAME DEVELOPMENT 
CALLED TITAN 4 GAMES. THE COMPANY IS BEING HEADED 
BY A FORMER CEO OF GLOBALVR AND THEY HAVE JOINED 
UP WITH A COMPANY CALLED SOFTKINETIC TO USE THEIR 
PROPRIETARY IISU GESTURE -MOT ION TRACKING TECHNOL- 
OGY FOR USE IN A NUMBER OF ARCADE TITLES. THE WAY 
IISU WORKS IS MUCH LIKE WHAT MICROSOFT HAS BEEN 
DEVELOPING WITH THEIR NEW PROJECT NATAL TECHNOL- 
OGY AND A NUMBER OF VIDEOS SHOWCASING IISU CAN BE 
FOUND ON THE INTERNET. 

AT THE TIME OF WRITING? THERE WAS NO WORD ON WHAT 
THE GAMES WOULD BE? BUT THE TITAN 4 GAMES WEB- 
SITE CLAIMS THAT THEY WILL BE RELEASING THE FIRST 
GAMES TO MAKE USE OF IISU IN "FALL 2009". PRESUM- 
ABLY THAT MEANS THAT THEY WILL BE REVEALING THEIR 
NEW CONTENT AT IAAPA IN NOVEMBER? WHICH ALSO MEANS 
THAT PLAYERS WILL HAVE THE CHANCE TO TRY OUT NA- 
TAL-LIKE GAMING ON A PUBLIC SCALE BEFORE MICROSOFT 
IS ABLE TO ROLL OUT THEIR PLANS ON THE XBOX 360. 



38_FEATURE: 2010'S WONDERFUL WORLD OF ARCADES 



THE FINAL WORD 

THIS HAS BEEN A PREVIEW OF HHAT TO EXPECT IN THE CON- 
ING NONTHS FROM THE ARCADE INDUSTRY? BUT NEH TITLES ARE 
REVEALED ON A REGULAR BASIS - ALBEIT WITHOUT NUCH HVPE 
BEHIND THEM. HOPEFULLY* AS THE INDUSTRY ENTERS INTO A 
NEH DECADE* THEY HILL LEARN HOH TO JUMP ONTO THE MAR- 
KETING BANDHAGON WITH A LITTLE MORE AGGRESSION THAN 
THEY HAVE HAD OVER THE PAST TEN YEARS. THE ONLY OTHER 
CHALLENGE FOR PLAYERS IS FINDING A VENUE WHERE TO PLAY 
THESE GAMES? BUT THEY ARE OUT THERE IF YOU KNOW WHERE 
TO FIND THEM. BESIDES THE YELLOW PAGES? THERE ARE A 
NUMBER OF WEBSITES POPPING UP THAT WILL HELP YOU DIS- 
COVER NEW ARCADES LOCATED NEAR YOU? SO GET OUT THERE 
AND PLAY! 



GAME OVER 



TRY AG A IN'i 



FEATURE: 201(TS WONDERFUL WORLD OF ARCADES_39 



motion controllers: 



Twwmnra | 



Then and Now 




Getting to interact with your games using your own body has been a long running dream for many 
gamers. Sure, swinging a sword around using a controller can certainly be fun, but when it's your arms 
doing the swinging, it brings a level of physicality to a game that adds to the immersion and fun. With 
Microsoft and Sony joining Nintendo on the motion controller front, it would seem that the technology 
is certainly gaining popularity, but motion controllers are far from a new revelation in gaming. Control- 
lers that measure the player's physical movements have been around since the original Nintendo plat- 
form back in 1989, though the technology has certainly come a long way since its humble beginnings. 




40IFEATURE: MOTION GONTROIWERSITHEN AND NOV!/ 



Motion Technology: 
A Primer 





Motion controllers can be defined as any device that lets 
a player use physical motions to interact with a game, 
though there are many degrees of complexity (and the 
lack thereof) found in motion controllers over the years. 
The accuracy and reliability has seen great strides over the 
years, thanks in no small part due to the advancements in 
the technology used to help the player take their actions 
into the virtual world. When you understand how older 
motion controllers worked and what technology they used, 
it's hard not to find yourself without a new appreciation 
for the relative accuracy and ease of use found in modern 
motion controllers. 



Early motion technology was mainly based on rotational sensors fitted into the controllers themselves. Such 
sensors detect how far something is bent or rotated, such as being able to tell exactly how far you rotate a 
doorknob in real life. Unfortunately, such sensors can only measure that one metric and in only one dimension, 
and must either be fitted into some wearable device or into a stationary peripheral. If the ultimate goal of mo- 
tion controls is to make it so the players every action is represented in the game world, getting there by these 
sensors alone wasn't going to cut it. 



Infrared technology has been used in 
gaming for quite some time, starting 
with such peripherals as the Ninten- 
do Zapper, and is still used in many 
modern motion controllers. Infrared 
tech is essentially broken down into 
two parts; an emitter and a receiver. 
The infrared emitter sends out a 
beam of infrared light, which is invis- 
ible to the human eye. The receiver is 
what picks up the beam of light, and 
between the two you have some of 
the core components of many of the 
motion controllers out there today. 




FEATURE- MOT ON GONTROUiERErtTHEN AND N0WI4 



Gyroscopes are somewhat like the evolu- 
tion of the rotation sensor, except that they 
do not need to measure the rotation of two 
objects in relation to each other. Instead, 
gyroscopes can be used to measure their 
own orientation (or the enclosure that they 
are built into) in all three dimensions. Such 
gyroscopes are commonly used in aircraft 
so that pilots can detect which direction 
the aircraft's nose is pointed, but until 
Recently were not used very often in 
motion controllers. 

Other technology, such as pressure 
sensors, have been used in motion 
controllers both old and new. Pressure 
sensors simply measure how much force 
is getting pushed against an object. 
Another technology that is beginning 
to be used more and more in motion 
controllers is the ability to talk wirelessly 
with the platform your game is running 
on. While not strictly necessary for 
bringing your motions to life, it certainly 
makes doing so easier when you are not 
tripping over a cord that tethers you to 
your device. 

These technologies certainly 

existed long before they were 

used with gaming, but exactly 

how they have been 

implemented in motion 

controllers over the years has 

certainly changed. To see 

those changes, let's take a 

walk down memory lane and look at the 

history of motion controllers, starting with 

one of the most obscure peripherals of all 

time; the Amiga Joyboard. 




42iEEATURE: MOT ON G0NTR0LLER5:1THEN AND NOW 



Stumbling Forth 



r 



Going Through 

the Motions 




W 



_ 



Early motion controllers were often little more than a proof of concept. The devices found 
in this section were commercial failures more often than not for a variety of reasons. They 
helped pioneer the technology used in motion controllers, however, and without using them 
as stepping stones to modern motion controllers, it's hard to imaginethe technology getting 
to where it is today. 




wadt^ e 









Gat** sv 



Qff Your rL^o^ 






a\W«^ 



s^Wa^^ 



boa' 



vda s 



t^eP 



ubV\c 



as 



an' 



k^-SS*-— 



^^c^V* 



, v \c\Na sa *web° a 



i0 NO° a 



,vd 



%fc\n* a ° d .?!« 



\ttec 



a\W 



\n°° e .. c mea^ v "" ,\ e ane 



»- S tiW W 



^^^^^^^^• WB 



N/OVif 



&a 



,rt\\n6 






sta 

s< 

\Mas 
\Nas 



Subject: Nintendo Power Glove 
Manufacturer: Mattell (USA) 




System: Nintendo Entertainment System 
/ PAX (Japan) Release Date: 1989 






The problem with the Power Glove 
was that not only was it cumbersome 
to use and quite far ahead of its time, 
but also had a ridiculously small stable 
of compatible games. The only games 
that supported the Power Glove 
were Super Glove Ball and Bad Street 
Brawler, and the latter of which could 
still be played with a normal control- 
ler, albeit without some special moves 
that could only be pulled off with the 
Power Glove. Three more games were 
at one point in development for the 
Power Glove but they never saw the 
light of day. With such low compat- 
ibility the device proved to be a flop, 
destined to far more often be used as 
a punch line for a joke than for any- 
thing befitting one of the grandfathers 
of motion controllers. 



The Nintendo Power Glove's status 
as one of the first motion control- 
lers is certainly debatable, but it 
certainly is one of the more infa- 
mous peripherals on the list. The 
Power Glove was worn on your 
right hand, and had a surprising ar- 
ray of features bundled into it. The 
roll of your wrist could be mea- 
sured, as could up to four positions 
for your thumb, pointer, middle, 
and ring fingers. The faceplate 
of the device contained a bevy of 
buttons that allowed for the player 
to reprogram the functions of the 
device, as well as a standard set of 
controls. 




taW 




Though technically players could ei- 
ther use their hands alone or with the 
fancy grip attachments that mounted 
inside of the beam-readable area of the 
device, it appears that hardly anyone 
adopted the device. History shows that 
of the few people who used the device, 
the consensus was that it was almost 
impossible to decipher how exactly the 
device was supposed to be meaning- 
fully used. The advertising campaign 
came equipped with the slogan of 
"Hands Off!" that apparently most 
people took literally. The device quickly 
slipped into obscurity. 



Subject: U-Force 

System: Nintendo Entertainment System 

Manufacturer : Broderbund 

Release Date: 1989 



If you haven't heard of the U-Force controller for the NES, you 
are certainly not alone. Released the same year as the Power 
Glove for the same system, the U-Force controller employed 
nothing more than a pair of infrared beams mounted per- 
pendicular to each other on the flat and raised portion of the 
device. The device was touted to work with virtually all NES 
games, and came bundled with some attachments that fit into 
a mounting hole on the bottom panel of the device. 




In the next era of consoles, motion controllers didn't 
really fare much better. The Sega Activator was an un- 
successful product released for the Sega Genesis that 
came in the form of a good sized octagonal ring you 
would place on the floor. Each section of the octagon 
contained an infrared transmitter/receiver and each 
one was set up to correspond to a different action such 
as having the primary directions serve as the d-pad 
while the diagonal ones corresponded to the face but- 
tons on the controller. 

However, in practice the Activator didn't work par- 
ticularly well. It could only be used in rooms with flat, 
standard height ceilings that didn't have a light source 
directly above it. It technically worked with any game, 
but its biggest problem was that you weren't getting 
your motions mapped into the game as much as you 
were simply flailing in a direction that corresponded to 
something you could usually do much more quickly and 
accurately on a controller. However, the Sega Activa- 
tor does get recognition as the first motion controller 
that didn't require you to be directly interacting with a 
device. 




HOME RON DERBY 

THE #1 SPORTS SIMILATOI. 




Subject: Sega Activator 
System: Sega Genesis 
Manufacturer : Sega 
Release Date: 1994 



Subject: Home Run Derby 

System: Arcade 

Manufacturer: Interactive Light , Inc. 

Release Date: 1996 



There isn't much to say about Home Run Derby, 
other than that it was the first baseball simulator 
that let players step up and swing a real bat against 
a virtual ball. The game used little more than an 
infrared sensor to detect when the bat had passed 
over the home plate that they player stood over, 
making it fairly simplistic. Unfortunately, the game 
didn't seem to ever catch on, but between either 
having to tether the bat down with a rope and let 
that get in the player's way or risk an errant bat fly- 
ing across the arcade it's hard not to see why. 



When Police 911 hit the arcades back in 2001, it marked a 
significant step forward in motion controls. The game was 
essentially a light gun shooter in which the player took 
the role of a police officer sent to put down some bad 
guys. A series of infrared sensors were arranged around 
the player to detect changes in their posture. This 
allowed for you to literally duck down behind cover to 
reload, or lean out just enough from behind cover to 
take shots at an enemy while not fully exposing 
yourself to return fire. 



The ability that the game had to detect even 
subtle changes in how the player was standing 
was revolutionary, not only towards how 
sensitive the sensor technology had become^ 
but also towards how immersive it made 
the game become. You were no longer 
haphazardly shooting enemies on the 
screen, but were now actively ducking 
behind tables and around corners to 
take cover. For the first time, your 
movements were getting directly mapped 
to your characters actions, a tenant of the gameplay' 
that makes it still one of the best reasons to check out your" 
local arcade and see if it's still around (the game, or even the 

arcade for that matter). 



iS. 







Motion for 

the Masses 




m 



In the early part of the decade, motion controller technology began to 
pick up steam, and arcade games like Police 911 only helped pave the 
way for newer and more immersive developments in the technology. 
Motion controls were really limited to the PC platform for the better 
part of the decade, but things were able to change as Nintendo got 
ready to unleash a motion controller bundled as the primary means 
of controlling their new console; a stature that motion controllers had 
never been granted prior to and have not yet been granted since. 



FEATURE: MOT ON GONTROUiERS^THEN/ 



The PC crowd had limited access to motion control technology up until 2001 when NaturalPoint Inc. released 
the first version of its TrackIR product. The original product was meant as a means of assisting the disabled with 
moving the mouse cursor, which changed when a customer noted that it also worked as a means of controlling 
flight simulators. NaturalPoint then pursued branding the device as a motion controller for gaming, and over 
the years the TrackIR line has seen five hardware revisions and to date supports 101 games. 



The device itself simply attaches to the top 
of your monitor and consists of an infrared 
camera and some infrared LEDs. The player 
must wear either a ball cap with reflective 
markers mounted on the bill of the cap, or 
attach a rigid piece of plastic to their head- 
phones which sports a trio of the reflective 
markers. The camera picks up the position of 
the reflective markers since they reflect the 
infrared light cast from the LEDs and com- 
putes their orientation to one another. In 
its original form, the TrackIR only accounted 
for two degrees of freedom, but the latest 
models allow for six degrees of freedom and 
picks up every motion of the your head. 








The TrackIR lets you move your head to 
change your viewpoint instead of the con- 
troller. Such an option is mainly supported in 
flight simulators to look around the cockpit 
and keep tabs on your surrounding airspace, 
but is also used in tactical shooter games 
such as ArmA 2, letting you effectively sepa- 
rate your ability to look around from where 
your gun is pointed. Since games have to be 
specifically coded to allow for devices like 
the TrackIR to be used with them, it doesn't 
have an exceptionally high support rate, but it 
certainly allows for a level of immersion and 
functionality in the PC games that it does sup- 
port that wouldn't otherwise be found. 



Subject: TrackIR 

System: PC 

Manufacturer: NaturalPoint , Inc. 

Release Date: 2001 - Present 



18IFEATURF: MOT ON GONTROLLERSiliTHEN AND NOW 



The Wiimote is no stranger to anyone these 
days, thanks in no small part to the device 
coming bundled with the highest selling 
console of the current generation. The 
Wiimote in a sense is almost the spiritual 
successor to the Power Glove and allows for 
the player to use their hands and arms in 
intuitive ways to control their games. That 
being said, the Wiimote is certainly better 
for its decades of technological advancements. 

The Wiimote itself contains a three-axis 

accelerometer which allows it to effectively 

keep track of what direction it is getting moved 

in and with what force. At the front of the 

device is an infrared sensor which picks up the infrared light emitted from a number of LEDs found in 

the Wii Sensor Bar. When the Sensor Bar is in the Wiimote's field of view the device can use triangu- 

lation to calculate its relative distance from the screen as well as allow for it to be used as a pointing 

device for menu navigation or view control in first-person games. In addition to its motion control 

functions, the device also has many buttons along its top face and a single trigger at the bottom. 

The impact of the Wiimote and its accessories such as the Nunchuk is hard to argue, as it is certainly 
the single most prevalent motion controller on this list. Its inclusion with every console sold meant 
that developers could count on motion control getting used by every gamer rather than only those 
who had purchased a third party peripheral. Though its potential is not always fully utilized in every 
Wii game, the Wiimote easily stands its ground as one of the most important consumer motion con- 
trollers released in the 21st century. 



® 



c> © © 







■ • 

Wii 




FEATURE: MOT ON CONTROLLERS: iTHEN AND NO W* 49 



Of course, that doesn't mean that a 
particularly bright individual can't 
find room to improve on such a 
peripheral. Carnegie Mellon 
graduate Johnny Chung Lee did just 
that when in 2007 he released a 
series of projects that allowed for 
the Wiimote to be used in 
interesting ways on your PC. In its 
traditional configuration the Wiimote 
is meant to be held by the player, 
and picks up infrared light from the 
Sensor Bar mounted above the 
television. What Mr. Lee did in 
many of his projects was reverse 
these roles, mounting the Wiimote 
on top of the television pointing 
back at the player and making the 
player become the source of the 
infrared light. 



One such project involves the use 
of setting up an infrared emitter 
on top of the television and 
applying reflective tape to one 
finger on each hand. The light 




(Nintendo) 

from the emitted makes the fingers easily show up for the Wiimote's infrared sensor, allowing the 
player to use their two fingers in a method similar how they are used on multi-touch devices such 
as an iPhone. Another project keeps the Wiimote on top of the TV, and has the player simply don 
a pair of glasses with infrared LEDs built into the sides of the frame. This allows for accurate head 
tracking in a three dimensional space, which in shadows of Police 911 could allow for you to duck 
and dodge in a shooter and simply use a second Wiimote as your "gun" like you would in any other 
shooter. 

Of course these projects were more proof of concept than anything. To date, the techniques used 
have not shown up in a Wii game and remain as little more than a display of what potential the 
Wiimote has when used creatively. That's not to say that the projects didn't catch any attention at 
all from the gaming industry; Mr. Lee's projects with the Wiimote are likely what set him square in 
the sights of Microsoft when they hired him as part of their Applied Sciences group to presumably 
work on the upcoming motion controller of their own. 



5niFFATMRF: MOTON GONTROLLERSiliTHEN AND NOW 



Subject: Wiimote Hacks 
System: PC 

Manufacturer: Johnny Chung Lee 
Release Date: 2007 




Subject : Wii Balance Board 
System: Nintendo Wii 
Manufacturer : Nintendo 
Release Date: 2008 






a \oo6 v 




stao 1 



\o& 



on 



\t 



but' 



Unlike the Joyboard, this allows for precise measurement 
of exactly where your center of mass is located, and many 
games incorporate this into balancing acts or in naviga- 
tion. This allows for you to simply lean in a direction and 
the game will react accordingly. Granted, it doesn't require 
much motion, not to mention how you are supposed to 
keep both feet on the board at all times, yet it is not de- 
signed to be jumped on, but the Wii Balance Board certainly 
fits the bill of letting you perform an action in the 
twenty and counting games supported by it by 
doing little more than shifting your weight around 




Each Movement 
Refined 



* 



\® 



With motion controllers finally reaching the masses, it is only natural that the rest of 
the big console manufacturers took notice and began to develop their own peripherals. 
While the TrackIR is still holding down the PC court and Nintendo further enhances the 
accuracy of their venerable Wiimote, Microsoft and Sony are set to step up to the plate 
with motion control technology of their own. 



Though the Wiimote is certainly a powerful little 
device, its sensitivity in accurately responding to your 
motions leaves some to be desired. Nintendo addressed 
this issue just this year with the release of the 
MotionPlus add-on. The MotionPlus simply snaps onto the bottom 
of the Wiimote and contains an angular rate sensor, which in lay- 
man's terms means that it makes the Wiimote have a much higher 
sensitivity towards and detection of your arms every movement. 

Wii games have to be specifically coded to make use of this new 
sensitivity, of which seventeen games have been announced and 
six have been released. However, one can only assume that if it 
gets enough market penetration the devices popularity among 
developers will increase accordingly. With the MotionPlus add-on, 
the Wiimote finally gets close to achieving true one-to-one motion 
for the player; which is one of the primary tenants of goals of any 
motion control peripheral. 



Subject: Playstation Motion Controller 
System: Playstation 3 

Manufacturer: Sony Computer Entertainment 
Release Date: 2010 (Projected) 



Sony announced their first foray into dedicated motion controllers at E3 2009 
with their tentatively-titled PlayStation Motion Controller. Unofficially nick- 
named "the wand", the device is essentially shaped like a small handle with an 
orb on its top end. The orb can glow in any color of the RGB color model, and its 
position and distance can be tracked via the PlayStation Eye video camera pe- 
ripheral. The wand itself is also host to the same accelerometer and angular rate 
sensor technology found in the Wiimote and its MotionPlus add-on, and it is safe 
to speculate that the device can/will be used in a similar manner. 

There have been ten games announced so far to have built-in support for the 
wand when they are released, and a handful of games already released have 
announced that they will patch support for the device in. The device similarities 
with the Wiimote are obvious, but with the PlayStation Eye's ability to track the 
orb's position regardless of what orientation the wand itself is in it is possible 
that the device could have even greater functionality and precision, which relies 
on the Wiimote pointed forward in order to calculate its position and distance. 



Subject: Nintendo MotionPlus 
System: Nintendo Wii 
Manufacturer : Nintendo 
Release Date: 2009 




52JFFATMRF: MOT ON GnNTRnLLFRS-liTHFN AND NOW, 



Possibly the most unique approach to motion controls in this list, 
the so-called Project Natal device eschews the player utilizing a 
controller of any form at all. The device hosts an array of sensors 
and functionalities including a full-color camera, multi-array 
microphone, and a depth sensor to measure the distance of 
objects. Using the Natal, your own body becomes the controller, 
and device itself simply serves as the means that a game can 
measure how and where you move. 



This allows for you to simply mimic holding a steering wheel to 

control your race car such as a demo build of Burnout Paradise 

showed, or interact with a virtual young boy in a realistic world 

There hasn't been much announced in the way of actual title 

support for the device, but that hasn't stopped massive 

speculation on the devices potential. With its ability to 

perform real time motion capture and skeletal mapping 

of up to 48 joints on the body, people have been imagining everything 

from animating their own victory poses, to being able to play air guitar. . 





Subject: Project Natal 
System: Xbox 360 
Manufacturer : Microsoft 
Release Date: 2010 (Projected) 



Moving Forward [J ' ^j 



l® 



_ 



Between Microsoft announcing their motion control technology and Sony and Nintendo advancing theirs, 
motion control is slowly creeping away from its previous home in the enthusiast and PC camps and inch- 
ing its way towards the mainstream. Though motion controllers have certainly came from humble begin- 
nings, it is amazing to see how far it has come. Nearly every gamer has at some point wished that they 
could be a part of their game and have their motions represented exactly as they are in real life, whether 
it be to swing a sword in battle, or cast a lure out to do some fishing. With these advances in motion con- 
trollers and the exciting products coming out in the near future, that dream has moved closer to becom- 
ing a reality than ever before. 



-EATORE: MOT ON CONTROLLERS 




" 



T 



A Streteev Guide Like No Other 




\ 



ates 



ongside the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will be a strategy 
guide like no other. For decades, magazine-style guides have been the 
norm, but that's about to change with CoD: MW2's tactical map guide 
that gives players a whole new way to play. Designed for multi-player 
gaming, this fold-out guide features overhead maps on every campaign, 
Spec Op, and multi-player level in the game. Players short on space will 
be happy to know that it can be hung up on a wall like a poster, while 
those with tabletop room can fold it up and use it as a desktop reference 
tool. 

This versatile map reveals the location of all spawn points and objection 
locations, but also allows you to write any additional information on the 
map itself. If you want to plan out the shortest route from one area to 
another, you can. Gone are the days of having to hand-draw maps on 
sheets of paper that vaguely resemble the real thing because this guide's 
dry erase functionality allows you to mark it up as much as you need and 
when you're done, you can just erase it and start anew the next time you play. It's tactical and practical. 

When did the concept for this guide begin and how long did it take to turn it from a concept into a reality? 

[ERIC] We call the format for the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 guide the Big FOLD, FOLD being an acronym for Fold-Out 

Laminated Display. We started working on the Big FOLD concept in March of 2006. Like any business, our initial focus was on 

intellectual property, product development, and fund raising. We were ready to hit the market towards the end of 2007 and 

almost instantaneously struck a deal with Alfred Publishing for SHREDHED (www.shredhed.com), our line of guitar instruction! 

products. Since then we've had success in launching products into the classroom education space and working on marketing 

p ro) ec t , 

From the beginning, we've always seen the Big FOLD and its poster and free-standing triangle set-ups as being perfect for 
any activity that requires the use of both hands - like playing video games. BradyGames recognized how cool the Big FOLD 
would be as a map for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 gamers not only because of the hands-free set-ups, but also because 
gamers could use and re-use the dry-erase feature of the map to plan, execute, and refine their strategies. Once BradyG- 
ames told us the concept, everything took shape pretty quickly. That's part of the beauty of what we do with publishers; we 
take content that they already have and deliver it to their consumers in a new, fun, and highly engaging way. 

Was it a costly concept to bring to life? 

[ERIC] Developing good products and protecting ideas is expensive. We have lived out the romantic story that you hear so 
often of 2 guys with a good idea willing to put everything they have on the line to make it happen. We've also been fortu- 
nate to have amazingly generous and patient investors and advisors on board from the beginning. The rough economy has 
certainly made things more interesting than we would 
have preferred, but it hasn't stopped us. In a big way, 
tougher times simply forced us to work harder and be 
more creative. 



o 





O 



o 





Are there any expectations for the guide to revolutionize how people play the game or are expectations lowered a bit with 

it being a first-time effort? M — J^ 

[ERIC] Our expectations are pretty lofty. Kicking it off with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is a huge compliment to what 
we're doing and the potential for what can be done. We want to remove all of the interruptions in gaming that occur 
when you eat up screen real-estate or take a pause to: look at a map, check out your arsenal, figure out what does what 
on your controller, need a little help, etc. All of that and more can be displayed on the Big FOLD and set along side the 
gamer for quick glances while letting the game play on. We envision gamers having an extensive library of these guides - 
one for every game - right alongside their BradyGames' in-depth strategy guides. The type of use translates to computer 
software as well. mi ~- — %mmm 

How long do you think it will take players to get 
used to playing games with guides like this? 
[ERIC] The beauty of these guides is their 
simplicity. There's really nothing to get used to. 
Set it up; mark it up; fold it up. We're trying to 
make things easier for everyone. 

What other genres do you think would benefit 
from foldout guides? 

[ERIC] This answer may sound ridiculous, but all 
of them. Using the Big FOLD as an interactive ( 
map is easy to envision because we're looking at 
it with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. As I 
mentioned though, there are many, many things 
that need to be referenced when learning and 
simply playing a game. We've always turned to 
the little booklets that come with the games or 
the onscreen help. We're providing an alterna- 
tive or supplement to those. 

Would you like to see this become a new 
standard in guides? 
[ERIC] Urn; yes! 



\ 





XBOX36C 



A 



A PC 



A. 



Publisher: Capcom 
Developer: Airtight Game 
Genre: Third-person Shod 
Category: Rocketeer 
Release Date: January 201 
Rating: T 
Players: 1 



l 






^ 







nes are nice, but real men use jetpacks. 

anly" like strapping a giant rocket just above your 
_ jtt and taking to the skies, wearing protective gear that 
provides about as much defense against heavy impacts as 
a cotton ball. But the sky is huge and inviting, even with 
enemy swarms filling it with blue-hot plasma, and there's 
no way to resist getting up there and blowing up some 
-inheads while soaring with acrobatic grace. 

ark Void is what you get when the primary team mem- 
bers behind Crimson Skies don't get to make a sequel. 
It's got the 1930s pulp serial feel down pat, starring a two- 
fisted cargo delivery pilot named Will. Will and his 
sistant, Ava, get shot down in the Bermuda Triangle, 
iding up on an island where bizarre alien-ish human- 
is (the Watchers) are trying to kill them for no 
parent reason. Fortunately, Nikola Tesla is there, 
using instant pity for any aliens stupid enough to pit 
emselves against history's ultimate bad-ass mad sci- 
itist. Tesla gives Will a prototype jetpack, things 
^jickly get out of hand, and eventually Will finds 
himself teamed up with Survivors in a land that's obvi- 
ously not the tropical island it initially appeared to 
be. He's in The Void, and The Watchers aren't happy 
about sharing their world. 

Peaceful resolution is right out, and even a sternly-worded 
UN missive (had the UN been around in 1938) seems like it 
would have little effect, so the only answer is bullets de- 
livered at high speed and in great quantities. Dark Void's 
gunplay is divided up into two primary styles- on foot and 
in air. It starts out as a fairly standard cover-based shooter, 
with Will running, gunning, and jumping behind convenient 
barricades, with new elements added along the way. It's 
several hours, in fact, before the jet pack finally comes into 
play. Will initially is grounded, with no hint of the aerial es- 
capades to come, but new vertical elements are added one 
by one until the skies are your playground. 



56_PREVIEW: DARK VOID 







Starting on foot, the opening area has Will ducking and shooting in a fashion familiar to anyone who's played 
Uncharted, Gears of War, or any other game where hiding is a simple matter of touching a button near any- 
thing that looks like it might be bulletproof. Cover is the usual defensive affair, with blind fire being more 
protected but less accurate while aiming gives the enemy a convenient target. Twists on the gameplay show 
up shortly, however, as Will proves that hitting things is as fun as shooting them. The initial enemies go down 
in a single punch, while later ones need softening up first, but it's always cool to see a mechanized enemy 
get its block knocked off with a solid haymaker. 



The other wrinkle in the combat comes as Will does his best Spider-Man impression, hanging off the under- 
side of ledges while firing back at the Watchers as he leaps from handhold to handhold up sheer cliff faces. 
During these vertical cover sections the camera helpfully changes angle, giving a clear view up or down the 
wall, while bringing on a mild shot of dizziness when it smoothly flattens out again once Will is on solid 
ground. These sections rely more on firing from a set position before jumping to another spot of cover, be- 
cause it's hard to run and gun while hanging on for dear life. 

Eventually Will gets his first jetpack, good for 
hovering and boosted jumps but not flying. With 
this addition, however, the levels start opening 
up into vertical playgrounds, providing more stra- 
tegic gunplay as the high ground becomes a tacti- 
cal option. This is all in preparation for the final 
mobility upgrade, the full-flight enabled jetpack, and 
all the joys of dogfighting and clever level design it 
brings with it. At this point, Dark Void truly kicks into 




bt,' 



I 



m 



% 



y 




v v- 



PREVIEW: DARK VOID_57 



[Ox-box 36oT 



Wfa 



Aerial combat is different from on foot in more than the obvious 
ways. The jetpack comes equipped with a powerful gun, fed with 
unlimited ammo, but it only works while in flight. Once Will is 
either on the ground or hovering he's back to using the guns cho- 
sen at the start of the level or scavenged along the way, which 
is good for having the right tool for the job but also uses up the 
limited (but generously supplied) ammo. The other advantage 
of flight is that Will can hijack enemy saucers, using their armor 
to protect his own skin from a nasty case of alien laser burn. 
Hijacking takes a bit of work, though, unlike the normal gaming 
method of basically snatching a vehicle as it passes by, and un- 
like Will the saucers don't regenerate health after a few seconds 
of not taking damage, so their usefulness is limited. On the other 
hand, there's no denying how cool it is to have a rocketman hi- 
jack a flying saucer in mid-a" 



> *>- - 



■ ■ 



j**}* 



The thing about the jetpack is that it's a tool in exactly the same way the 
guns are- its use depends on the situation. There aren't special flying levels 
any more than there are sniper levels. There are areas where it's necessary, 
of course, because it's hard to dogfight from the ground, but an average 
mission will be a mix of air and ground based fighting. A mid-game level, for 
example, has Will clear out some gun turrets so the Survivors can land their 
airship, fighting off waves of nimble saucers while flying among the craggy 
spires of an otherworldly mountainous wasteland. When the ship lands, he 
fights on foot alongside a group of Survivors to open up an underground 
installation, which turns out to be a mixture of small corridors and large, 
open areas. The huge central shaft is large enough for limited flight, or Will 
can make use of the vertical cover system to avoid enemy fire. So long as 
you don't get his face shot off neither approach is wrong. 



58 PREVEW:DARKVOD 




II y 

Supplementing the shooty gamplay are the usual collectibles no self-respecting world would be without. 
Dork Void has two kinds of items to track down- orbs and journals. The journals are filled with information 
on the world of Dark Void, filling in details that wouldn't fit anywhere else. There are dozens to find scat- 
tered throughout the game, some hidden very well indeed, but once found they remain available even in 
subsequent playthroughs, making it just a little easier to fill in the gaps. 



Orbs are a more common, seeing as defeated enemies drop them, but there are some large bonuses hidden 
in out-of-the-way spots as well. The orbs act as currency, allowing you to upgrade your six primary guns and 
jetpack. Upgrades are expensive, but it only requires two to fully elevate even the generic machine gun 
from its original configuration as a reliable but bland workhorse into a stylish high-powered death dealer 
with glowing blue trim. While there are only seven items to power up, with two levels to buy apiece, every 
gun is useful and every upgrade makes it significantly moreso. 

\ V 

Dork Void is shaping up to be an epic action title, filled with solid gunplay, aerial derring-do, and a sci-fi 
backstory loaded with detail. Its stylish enemies are as fun to fight as look at, and the huge world is filled 
with detail. Once past the introductory levels the constant switching between flight and on-foot combat 
keeps things fresh, as every situation can be handled in a variety of ways. Admitted, the end result always 
turns out to be pumping a whole lot of firepower into a whole lot of bad guys, but if that's what it takes to 

rescue the rag-tag band of Survivors from the clutches of the Watchers then 
it's a price that's easily paid. Dork Void has hot lead, electric death, and 
rocket- powered mayhem. What more could an adventure need? 







/ 



Two years ago, the original Bioshock amazed all who played it with its stunning graphics, dark 
storyline, and engrossing world that made use ol both of those elements to provide one of the 
creepiest gaming experiences ever. It was the lirst FPS I ever felt like exploring simply because the 
world was so captivating. The environments all had the right mix of beautiful and rundown at the 
same time, and made the world of Rapture an eerie one. Now, the modern-day classic is back with an 
adventure set 10 years in the future that keeps the first-person adventure setup alive, but brings with 
it some big changes. 

One of the biggest changes is the addition of multiplayer gameplay. It's something that players 
clamored for with the original and now it's a reality with the sequel. The amount of simultaneous 
players isn't yet known, but it is known that a separate team will develop the multiplayer stuff, so 
those fearing that the single player game would suffer as a result of it can save themselves some 
sleepless nights. 

Another huge change is the reversal ol player roles, in the original, you were seemingly a regular 
guy who fled from the monstrous diving suit-clad Big Baddies who protected young girls called Little 
Sisters (who harvested corpses for energy). Now, you're a rogue Big Baddy out to take the Little Sisters 
away from the other Big Baddies. The rogue BB plays differently than lack. Re's far more power- 
ful and can dual wield plasmld attacks and weapons. Plus, with his diving suit, he can explore the 
underwater world more completely than lack. However, like Jack in the original, you've got a conflict 
ol conscience on your hands with the Sisters because you can either kill them lor great gains, or adopt 
them and have help throughout the adventure. 

While very little has been shown, it's clear that the incredible ambiance of the original game has 
been retained, and it seems like the change in roles is going to be a great way to freshen things up 
so it doesn't just feel like more of the same gameplay. Bioshock 2 is in great hands, and seems 
to be on track to deliver another memorable experience lor all who play it. 







Publisher: 2K Games 

Developer: 2K Marin 

Genre: First-person shooter/exploration 

Category: ...with an art deco design 

Release Bate: 2/9/10 

Rating: N 
Players: l-unknown 



* 7 



y 






.r 



• 







Jeremy Peeples 



PREVIEW: BIOSHOCK 2_61 




After almost a decade since the original entry in the series, the rolling monkeys are back once again, and this time they want you 
to monkey see and monkey do! 

For a series that focuses so heavily on balance, it's fitting that the franchise has turned to the Nintendo's Balance Board. Now 
more than ever, players will have seamless control over the rolling balls as they navigate the tricky courses and compete in crazy 
party games. You will feel just like a monkey confined in a translucent sphere! 

The Super Monkey Ball series has always delivered both a strong single-player experience 
and an enjoyable multiplayer component, and Step El Roll is no different. Not only are 
there numerous mini-games like usual, but the entire single-player adventure can be 
traversed cooperatively. 

So far, only a handful of mini-games have been showed off to public, but there will be 
several more in the final product. Amongst them is a kart-esque circuit race (complete 
with projectile pickups); the return of Monkey Bowling; Red Light/Green Light, the 
monkeys' take on the classic elementary school game; and an tower of seesaws you must 
guide your monkey through without falling to the ground. 

Although Step & Roll is being touted as a family game, don't forget that practically every prior game has had challenging courses 
to an almost ruthless degree. While it is true that Sega wants Step & Roll to be accessible to all, they have far from forgotten 
the fanbase who just loves to punish themselves into mastering each stage and collecting as many bananas as possible. As the 
single-player quest progresses, expect the game to turn down-right devious. For the purists out there (or people who are too lazy 
to stand up), the traditional analog controls and the motion controls of 2006's Banana Blitz are also incorporated via the Wiimote 
and Nunchuck. 

Now, be honest: do you even use your Balance Board anymore? Sega is giving us a game that promises to take full advantage of 
the neglected accessory, in perhaps the most logical way. Like seriously, the Balance Board was just made for acrobatic monkeys 
in balls! Catch Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll rolling into stores this coming February. 

Publisher: Sega Developer: Sega Genre: Action / Party Category: Great Balls of Monkey Release Date: February 2010 Rating: Everyone Players: 1-4 




®0^'i 




mmMmmmwmiBE?®m, 




Publisher: Capcom Developer: Dimps/ Capcom Genre: 2 Fighter Category: 




2009, as far as video games are concerned, has undoubtedly meant the resurgence of the fighter. Street Fighter IV and BlazBlue 
have already made their marks drawing record crowds at events like Evo. Tekken 6 was a huge hit. That being said, though, it comes 
as somewhat of a surprise that Capcom has announced, s< it least, their plans for a Street Fighter sequel. 

Aptly titled Super Street Fighter IV, the new entry is supposed to mark a return to the roots of the series. Fan favorites Dee Jay 
and Thunder Hawk are slated to make their glorious returns to the franchise. Producer Yoshinori Ono has also confirmed the return 
of the classic car smashing bonus round. With so much nostalgia packed into the title, it's hard to believe that the team has also 
planned a total revamp of the online mode, as well as the inclusion of six additional characters not including Dee Jay and T Hawk. 






While information about the additional characters has been scarce, the team has revealed a Korean Tae Kwon Do practitioner named 
Juri. Given that she is the first Tae Kwon Do practitioner in the Street Fighter series, her moves will be strikingly different from 
the other characters in the game. Juri also has a strong affiliation to the SIN organization, which is headed by Seth, the nefarious 
last boss from Street Fighter IV. As a result, there's no doubt that she'll figure heavily into the story (which coincidentally will be 
getting a lot more love and attention from the developers). Ono has publicly expressed his disappointment with opening and closing 
cut scenes for each character, so I think it's fair to 
expect something more robust for the next installment. 

Taking a cue from BlazBlue, Super Street Fighter IV 
will feature eight player lobbies. Lobbies will feature 
party chat and the ability to watch replays of top 
players together. Online matches will also be 
streamlined, including 2v2 and 4v4 modes. It's obvious 
that the team is taking large steps to augment the 
overall community aspect of the game. 

Thanks to Street Fighter IV and other stellar games, 
the fighting game scene has been totally reinvigorated. 
Let's hope that Super Street Fighter IV can improve on 
a great formula and deliver the kind of game fans have 
been calling for when it hits shelves in Spring 2010. 




Preview Dv 



\onster h 

?ven have actual summer training camps and festivals dedicated 
y to the game. When Monster Hunter Tri released there this past August 
Dke all sorts of records, including selling over half a million copies in less 

a week. 

.lerica, however, the series has not quite taken off to the same degree de 
several offerings on the PSP. Not one to back down from a challenge, Capcom is 
trying once again to bring the social phenomenon to American audiences with the 
Wii-exclusive localization of Monster Hun 4 ^ 1 



In a world where man shares the land witf 

fantastical creatures, the preferred 

profession is that of a hunter-gatherer. 

Despite the fact that many of the 

creatures tower several feet over the 

humans, the hunters are trained to 

fearlessly stalk and slaughter the fauna 

and use any useful materials from the 

corpses to assemble more effective 

weapons and gear. Unlike past games in the series, thoug. 

motivation to hunt is not for equipment alone; by completing NPC 

quests, the character's earthquake-devastated hometown is slowly re 

prosperity once again. 



Not all is easy for the hunter, however. Some monsters are so immense and pow- 
erful that a single human challenger is child's play to them. The only means to 
defeat such a foe is to team up with other hunters, and while players can employ 
an Al teammate in single-player, the primary focus of Tri is 
multiplayer. As a game that relies heavily on tactics, the greatest 
chance for survival comes from hunting with up to three other 
humans online or a friend in split screen co-op. 



%:# 



ctnrorl tri 

se and pow- 
means to 
can employ 



<4j^0 



Japanese players currently have to pay a monthly fee to access 
online portion of Tri, but as of press-time Capcom has stated an 
interest in making the experience free for the Western audience. In 
I addition, Capcom is currently looking into incorporating WiiSpeak 
into online play, another feature that the Japan release lacks and 
one that will certainly aide in strategizing attacks. 



Publisher: Capcom 

Developer: Capcom 

Genre: Action RPG 

Category: Not Your Dad's Deer Hunter 

Release Date: Q1 2010 

Rating: TBA 

Players: 1-2 (2-4 Online) 



Mm 




ake the experience all the more immersive, Capcom has 
?loped what it touts to be a living, breathing ecosystem. Ther 
~ ^everal environments, ranging from mountainous landscapes 
) frozen tundra, and each region's creatures realistically 
" ^ract with each other. So if a player is stalking a 
monster, he can be sure that he's not the only on 
on the hunt. Top this with a top-notch graphics 
engine that puts most other third-party Wii 
developers' work to shame and we've got 
offering sure to visually captivating. 



To say that the Monster Hunter series has been 
a success is an understatement. It's simply one 
, 1 '- . . ,- of the best selling franchises of all time... 
except in America. Luckily Capcom went all 
out with Monster Hunter Tri, so there is no 
better time for Americans to see what they've 
long been ignoring. And maybe start some 
1 summer training camps. 



64 PREVIEW: MONSTER HUNTER 




— . 



A 



A 





rap 



**' PHMwn^mnm 



Publisher: Sony 

Developer: United Front Games 

Genre: Kart Racing... 

Category: ...with customizable everything! 

Release Date: 2/2/10 

Rating: Rating Pending 

Players: 1-12 



latest entry in the Play... Create... Share series looks to do for 
.„irt racers what did for plat formers - deliver a t 

notch entry in the genre that raises the bar for what was expec. 
from in-game customization in both quality, quantity, and ease of 







Those who play without their creative juices flowing shouldn't feel 
bad - ships with a wide variety of pre-made 

characters and tracks. User-created tracks are possible in under 
ten minutes and easy to use controls. The track creation tool oper- 
ates in real-time and when you're done, you can immediately test 
it out and see how well it works. You can choose from a variety of 
surface types within a single track, so if you want a half asphalt/ 
half-dirt track for a mix of traditional and off-road racing, you can 
have it. 





Objects, obstacles, and weapons can be placed any- 
where on the track, and can even customize the track- 
side scenery. So if you want to surround your creation 
with large mountain ranges, forests, lakes, or even rows 
of home, you can. The tool is versatile enough to allow 
for methodical creation, or you can quickly drag the tool 
around and it'll cause a slew of whatever item you've 
chosen to sprout up from the ground. It seems like the 
developers have found a way to give players a user- 
friendly tool without sacrificing creation options for the 
player. 



From what's been shown so far, 

has the makings of a killer app for 
the PS3. It looks to have the right combination 
of out-of-the-box content, a seemingly endless 
amount of user-generated tracks and racers, 
a unique art style, and the most important part 
of all - the gameplay, looks like it will satisfy 
kart racing veterans and newcomers. 




^- ^^ 



H n 



fi 



s; 



XBOX 36 



;g i t 



Preview 1 



Publisher: SEGA 
Developer: tri-Ace 
Release Date: Spring 201( 
Players: 1 



Genre: RPG 
Rating: Rating Pending 







«#v 



"*V , J 



tri-Ace, creators of the Valkyrie Profile and Star Ocean 
franchises, brings us a brand new IP for the Xbox 360 
and Playstation 3 this spring. This will mark tri-Ace's 
first simultaneous multi-platform release, not to mention 
their first game to published outside Square-Enix (in North America and Ja- 
pan, at least). Resonance of Fate - alternatively renamed in North America 
from End of Eternity- is a very different game from what we've seen from 
the developers, offering a grittier and more "western" appeal. 

The story takes place in a distant future where the Earth has fallen ill to 
a poisonous gas, reducing the human race substantially. Humans have 
been pushed back and forced to build a colossal mechanical device named 
Bazel, which has given them harbor from the toxic world that has been cre- 
ated. This is where the game begins; as much as humanity relies on Bazel 
for its support, all machines one day malfunction and inevitably break. It's up 
to a skilled and experienced man named Vashyron, Zephyr (a boy who has 
been through many hardships) and Reanbell, a spry young girl, to protect 
the world and uncover the truths behind this mysterious event. 

Checking out the gameplay mechanics, Resonance of Fate is like nothing 
we've ever seen before. It's a hybrid between a turn-based RPG and a third 
person shooter. Players take control of three characters, each of which are 
armed to the teeth with projectile weapons (whether they be handguns or 
Uzis), allowing them to make quick work of their foes. The appearance of 
the battle system may look fairly complex, but it is relatively easy to under- 
stand, offering very similar mechanics to that of a strategy RPG. To make 
it simple, each character is given a turn to move and charge up their shots 
in hopes of hitting their locked-on target before getting struck themselves. 
The battle system feels as if things are running in real time, considering all 
of the characters in a battle move regardless of what you're doing, but the 
overall strategic placement and actions that are required is a clear focus on 
the turn-based aspect. One gameplay feature that removes itself from the 
slower paced combat is the Invincible Actions. As if they were pulled straight 
from an action movie, players are able to accomplish magnificent feats, 
offering flashy and interactive spectacles by planning a character's path of 
action. These generally range from running, sliding and jumping assaults on 
the enemy, offering a little more style to the game. 



A big part of Resonance of Fate is the customization, and there certainly 
is a lot. Because the game is heavily focused on projectile weaponry, each 
gun possessed is customizable to your liking. You want a scope on your 
handgun? By all means. You want a silenced sub-machine gun? Go ahead. 
Customization seems to be deep and is a crucial part to the game, increas- 
ing and balancing out how each character performs. While weapons are 
fully customizable, another feature is the ability to customize playable char- 
acters themselves. No longer will a story be filled with characters dressed 
completely ridiculous - or maybe they will be, if you wish it. There is the 
ability to change the hair color of the main characters, their clothing they 
are fashioning, and even add some accessories while you're at it. While this 
definitely doesn't change how the game will play, it will certainly give the 
player some creativity and ensures they won't be disappointed by how the 
characters look. Not to mention it opens up the possibility to downloadable 
content. 

Resonance of Fate is looking to be a gem among RPGs, offering a deep 
battle system and vast customization among the characters and their arse- 
nal. While the game seems to be gunning towards more of a depress- 
ing setting, the charm 
that tri-Ace has displayed 
in their previous titles is 
still active, offering a 
rather intriguing storyline 
with an interesting cast 
of characters. Scheduled 
for release in Japan later 
this year, and North 
America and Europe 
sometime in spring of 
2010, Resonance of 
Fate is already shaping up to be a unique experience. 



: "%w^ 



66_PREVIEW: RESONANCE OF FATE 




REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD 
VISIT 

HftRDCOREGAHER.COM NOW: 
' IT'S LONG (SEE LEFT) 
' CHRISTOPHER UtKEN MOULD 



■ Ju-oniThe Grudge 

SPONSORED LINKS 




Here's a game release that might have 
slipped underyour radar. (It sure slipped 
under mine.) Konami has released 
Pop'n Music in the US forthe first 
time. ..without the series' signature 
controller. 

READ THE FULL ENTRY » 

Section: Gaming News Keywords: Game Releases, Music Games, Nintendo 
Wii| LEAVE A COMMENT 

Gamestop To Publish Its Own Games 



mmcmiumifj 



•t «■-. 



Not content to just introduce the sale of 
DLC in its brick-and-mortar stores, 
Gamestop this month purchased online 
game company Jolt, with the intent of 
creating original games to sell to 
customers. Be afraid. Be very afraid. 

READ THE FULL ENTRY* 

Section: Gaming News! Keywords: Game 

Industry, Money, Online Gaming, Retail, United Kingdom | LEAVE A COMMENT 




CURRENTLY ONI 



■ StormyDawn 

■ VermithraxDagon 

■ Dack 



NASA To Map Mars Through Online Gaming 

Yes, that title is correct. Faced with a massive collection of data collected on 
Mars, NASA is turning to gamers for help. Are you ready to Be A Martian? 

READ THE FULL ENTRY » 

Section: Gaming News; Keywords: Space Invaders. Browser-based Games, Online 
Gaming | LEAVE A COMMENT 

Atlus Saves The Day VW 3D Dot Game Heroes 

In late October, Sony teasedthat 3D Dot Game Heroes was to be localized by 
athen-unknown company. In a move that was perhaps not unexpected, Atlus 
has now officially announced that it will be bringing the game to the US. From 
Software's retro romp will be arriving on American PS3s May 11th. 

READ THE FULL ENTRY* 




Section: Gan 
COMMENT 



. j Key w o rds: Atlu s, Fro m So ftw a re, G a me An n c i. ' c z ■- i r :* . - a ; -; : a : : - ? S ; ny | LEAVE A 



10 20| BACK -TOP -NEXT 



itcsP 

About | Download HGM | Get Swag | Contact | Terms and Conditions | Privacy Statement | Double J simp Books 

©200& Hardcore Gamer and DoubleJump are registeres trademarks. All rights reserved. 

Online Casino Gamers Magazine - Click Here 



•r 







•STATEMENT NOT APPROVED BY 
CHRISTOPHER MILKEN 

■ MOttR CHICKENS POWER 

■ GftHES YOU LIKE 

■ EXTRA GAMES INFO 



GO LOOK HURRY 




Publisher: Nintendo 
Developer: Nintendo 
Release Date: 11/15/2009 
Rating: Everyone 



Genre: Action /Platform 
Category: Old School, New Look 
# of Players: 1 -4 



If you're new to Super Mario Bros., you're probably young. The 
original Super Mario Bros, launched a new era in home gaming in 
the US as the pack-in with the Nintendo Entertainment System, 
debuting October 18, 1985. Prior to that, the home console video 
game industry had been languishing in failure when the second 
generation of game systems (Atari 5200-7800, etc.) failed to 
entertain. The action-platforming gameplay which the overall- 
wearing, fat mustache-sporting plumber delivered was an instant 
classic and kick-started the home console market back into the 
mainstream, causing literally millions of kids to become addicted 
overnight. The Guinness book of World Records lists it as one of 
the best selling video games ever, with 40,230,000 copies sold 
from its launch in 1983 until whoever counts Super Mario sales 
stopped counting in 1999. Since that time, Mario has become 
an American icon, as wholesome as apple pie. If you type the 
name "Mario" into Google or Wikipedia, Mario is the first thing 
you'll be served up. Wikipedia doesn't even bother to show any 
choices, it just takes you straight to his bio. 

Obviously, countless games starring Mario have been released 
since 1985. New Super Mario Bros. Wii is the newest. What 

makes this one different is that it is very much 
like the original. After an ex- 
tended foray into the third 
dimension with games such as 
Super Mario 64, Super Mario 
Sunshine and Super Mario 
Galaxy, Nintendo has returned 
Mario to his gameplay roots. What 
was old is new again, but prettier. The 
classic 2D action/platforming gameplay 
is back but updated to take advantage 




of the Wii's graphical abilities and improvements have been 
made to the original formula without straying too far. This has 
been acomplished by adding creative new twists to the tried and 
true gameplay mechanics, the details of which I will touch upon 
shortly. The idea of revamping an old classic isn't entirely new, 
of course. Nintendo did the very same thing in 2006 with New 
Super Mario Bros, for the Nintendo DS. In fact, this new Wii title 
is basically the same thing as the 2006 DS game. Thankfully, it's 
not identical to the DS version nor any of the prior games. 

What is the same is the basic mechanic of jumping onto plat- 
forms (often requiring expert dexterity to execute), bonking spe- 
cial blocks from below, and landing upon the heads of enemies to 
"kill" them. (I put kill in quotes because nothing 
ever really dies in a Mario game -- it is a 
"kids" game, after all.) Being touched by an 
enemy in any place except the feet or the 
buttocks (only during a special butt-pound 
maneuver) results in the loss of a life and a 
reset to the beginning of the level (or the last 
checkpoint). Ostensibly, the object is to get 
to the end of the level where Princess 
Peach may be waiting to be rescued 
(she is invariably in another castle), but 
anyone who has played a Mario game 
before knows that the real fun is in 
finding all of the secrets and hidden bits 
-- which every level in the game is chock- 
full of. At the end of every regular level is a flag 
pole which you'll receive a higher bonus the 
higher up on it you manage to jump when you 
reach it. At the end of every castle level is a 




Second opinion by Dr. Brew • Alternate Rating : 4 of 5 



As a younger gamer, I didn't grow up playing Mario games, so I'm not as enthralled as you old fogies. 
I can see the appeal of the genre but the personal rewards for overcoming the insane difficulty of 





boss of some sort, all of which require three well-timed head 
jumping-ons to dispatch. The exception to this rule is the last 
boss, the details of which I will not disclose here in the interest 
of letting you find out for your self. 

Some of the things that are new to this new incarnation are the 
kinds of power-ups you'll encounter. Power-ups are special abili- 
ties you will gain by finding and grabbing the corresponding icon 
for. These are hidden throughout each level, although usually not 
very difficult to find. There are six power-ups, three of which are 
new. The three returning from previous games are: the basic red 
mushroom, which makes Mario bigger and able to get hit by an 
enemy more than once before losing a life; the fire plant, which 
lets Mario spit bouncy fireballs at his foes (and get hit an addi- 
tional time); and the mini-mushroom, which makes Mario really 
tiny and light. The new power-ups include a helicopter 
helmet (and accompanying fancy jumpsuit, which my wife 
pointed out makes Mario even more sexier than he 
already is) which gives Mario the ability to 
whizz far into the air when the Wiimote is 
^W 114 shaken, and lets him glide gently back down 
* - jj after reaching the apex of this air- 
^J0K]frf whizz. There is also an ice plant, 
which is nearly the same as the fire 
plant, except it turns enemies into ice- 
cubes which Mario can pick up and throw 
or use as blocks to stand on in order to 
reach higher platforms. Lastly is the cute 
penguin suit, which is nearly identical to 
the ice plant except Mario can swim much bet- 
ter with it on as well as slide along on his belly at 
a high rate of speed until some sort of obstable puts 




some of these levels just aren't worth my trouble. I'm rating it "good" instead of 
"best game evar" as I'm sure you old farts are going to give it. 



a stop to the fun times. Yoshi also 

makes a return. If you find Yoshi 

hiding in a block and pop him out, 

you can ride him. Riding him gives you 

the ability to jump further, as well as eat enemies 

and fruit for nutrition, power-ups, and general happiness. 

All of these new elements combine together with the old to form 
an extremely enjoyable experience for the seasoned Mario veteran. 
My wife, a relative Mario newbie, testifies that it's also plenty of 
fun for new players as well, however only for the first world's-worth 
of levels. After that, the difficultly ramps up so high, it becomes 
frustrating for new, inexperienced players. It takes much repeti- 
tion to master the moves and complex controls that are required 
to navigate the precise, merciless challenges. This is why I put kids 
in quotes earlier because, even though the graphics, story, and 
characters are obviously geared towards kids, the difficulty level is 
aimed squarely at masters. If you or your kids are masters, then it'll 
be perfect. But if you have no desire to put in the time and effort 
required to become an action /platform master, this game may not 
be for you. However, even after giving up in frustration, my wife 
stayed right by my side while I played, affixed to the screen and 
gasping and squeeling at every failure and epic success. She says 
that watching me play is incredibly exciting. So, either I am the 
luckiest husband in the world, or your family members might just 
also enjoy watching you play even if they can't. I'll leave that to 
you to decide and I'll score the game for me. For me, the difficulty 
level of the game makes it incredibly rewarding to master and, if 
you are the obsessive type like me, and love finding every secret 
there is -- there are many, many hours of enjoyable gameplay to be 
had here. 

Rating: 4.5 of 5 



Ff/ML SCORE; 




Little 



Review by 



Publisher: SCEA 

Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge 
Release Date: 09/17/2009 
Rating: Everyone 




Genre: Platformer 
Category: Sackboy 
# of Players: 1 



The PlayStation 3's LittleBigPlanet shocked everyone with cutesy aesthetics coupled with an impressive physics based 
take on the platforming genre. Critics unanimously praised the game, with some even heralding Sackboy as the PlaySta- 
tion's new mascot, so a port to Sony's handheld must have seemed like a no brainer, but does this game have enough 
strength to live up to its older brother's shoes? 









In LittleBigPlanet, players control Sackboy, a cute little stitch puppet that has no origin story, no amnesia, or stat 
points. He simply is. His goal is very simple: aide the odd inhabitants of LittleBigPlanet with whatever problems they 
may have. Sackboy will jump, pull, and swing his way past all obstacles to complete his assigned task across seven 
worlds. However, any sort of narrative takes a backseat and is only there to provide an excuse for each of the level's 
unique puzzles. This would be fine if the puzzles had any noteworthy aspects. While they are entertaining, compared 
to the PlayStation 3 version, the puzzles are quite tame. On their own merits the majority of the puzzles can best be 
described as "average." 

The gameplay in LittleBigPlanet is very easy to understand, and casual platformer enthusiasts will easily enjoy. Sack- 
boy can run, jump, and grab onto objects to either pull across the room or swing himself across gaps. Players can also 
move between the foreground and background, allowing you to move past some obstacles, even sometimes simulat- 
ing a proper three dimensional environment. Where all of it becomes interesting is in the physics based environment. 
All objects react in the world with each other, and as such sometimes need to be considered if the puzzle relates to 
it. Putting a round object on an incline will cause it to roll away, and a crane might not operate if too much weight is 
on it. The physics in the game can cause some pretty intriguing interactions between the player and the game world. 
Objects bounce how they should, fall how they should, and dangle from a rope how they should. The 

game never goes too far with this however, which helps keep everything simple, yet at times, quite 
dull. This sacrifices complexity in exchange for a pick up and play appeal, which sometimes 
helps but also hurts it. 

The problems with the game stem from a very glaring omission: the lack of mul- 
tiplayer. The original title's main appeal seems to vanish quite fast when it can 

Second opinion by Beck • Alternate Rating : 4.5 of 5 

An absolute rewarding and satisfying experience from start to finish. Even without multiplayer, the 
well crafted level designs and thought-provoking puzzles make this a must have. 






I 



only be played alone; with none of your friends causing shenanigans that kill you while 
you were genuinely trying to complete a level takes the fun out of things. This seems like 
a very odd decision to port a game that had a large multiplayer following and focus and 
remove such a key feature that made it so loveable. Also hurt because of the solely single 
player affair is the customization of your Sackboy; while the entirety of the dress up options 
are still available, it was never about what funny costume you were wearing, but what funny costumes your friends 
would come up with. Why dress up if only you can see it? Multiplayer would have been a solid addition and would have 
helped players make their own fun during some of the less interesting levels. 

A feature that still remains noteworthy, even after a year of tinkering on the PS3, is the game's level creator. Given 
access to an absurd number of tools, players are given vast options how to create their levels, monsters, traps, and 
puzzles. Any sort of creation you can think of can be created in this level creator, as evidenced from some incredible 
creations seen from the PS3 version. Create platforms, cannons, fire breath ing dragons, a spaceship, or even a faithful 
rendition Megaman level. The options are creator. Everything from a parachuting minigame to a fight with King Kong, 
all seen in the single player experience, can be recreated here in full. A feature like this however is much too complex 
for the everyday consumer, and requires the more dedicated players from the gaming community will get the most out 
of it. At this time it is unknown if the incredible talent seen up until this point will make the transition to the handheld 
and make content to experience for when we are on the go. 

LittleBigPlanet is a very simple yet fun game. It's easy to enjoy, and some of the things presented in the game will 
make you smile, laugh, or just plain ole' say "Wow" at. However, there is a lot of monotony in the game and at the end 
of the day it just seems to mellow out into an acceptable experience. It's a pretty tame version of the rock and roll 
experience two and a half million Playstation 3 users experienced this time last year. It is still enjoyable, and a very 
decent platformer in its own rights, but that is exactly it: "decent." Don't go into this product expecting to be blown 
away, or to experience something incredibly new. It takes the safe route, and aimed to deliver a bus ride, friendly 
platforming experience, and they delivered. It just seems that all the charm that made the Playstation 3 version such a 
fun, unique experience seem to be missing, leaving an average, yet enjoyable experience. 

Rating: 3.5 of 5 



FINAL SCORE; 





Publisher: SCEA 
Developer: SCEA 
Release Date: 11/17/2009 
Rating: Mature 



Genre: Action /Platform 
Category: HD Compilation 
# of Players: 1 



Over the past five years, the God of War series has redefined hack and 
slash gaming with its diverse and well-executed gameplay, sharp 
controls, and ability to deliver some of the most epic battles in gaming 
history Unfortunately, it did this towards the end of the PS2's life, 
resulting in a lot of people missing them - although they did become Great 
Hits. The God of War Collection brings together the two PS2 entries on a 
single Blu-Ray disc and optimizes them for HD playback with a new ia 
screen setup and higher-quality textures. 



m* 



!j?7 «nft •». 1 an! 



While the visual enhancements are the most immediately noticeable, particularly 
now feel more epic than ever before, the framerate is also locked in at 60 FPS, a. 
ing smoother than they ever have before. Sadly, the revamped graphics don't carry over to the cinematics that 
use the in-game engine. Those wind up being quite jarring because you'll go from the crisp redone visuals to the 
unmodified original graphics, which look darker and murkier by comparison, in a moment's notice. Despite that 
issue, the gameplay being smoother than ever before due to the constant framerate makes this the definitive ver- 
sion of each game. 



her than ever before due to the cc 
>m each same is included, althousl 



Even the bonus video content from each game is included, although strangely, it's pi 
for each, with GoW I accessible from the game and GoW H's using the XMB Video tab and suffering from skip- 
ping issues that I haven't seen before in other XMB video content. As great as this compilation is in spite of some 
minor issues, it feels incomplete given its "collection" title by lacking the PSP entry in the series - it was a major 
benchmark for its platform just like the PS2 games were, and would have been a welcome addition here. 

Still, the collection is an amazing value for those who have never played the series but have always wanted to, 
since it delivers both games in HD for about the same cost as getting them on the PS2. If you've got both games, 
you're probably better off waiting for it a price drop, as the revamped graphics and widescreen view are nice, 
but not worth $40 for most people. However, if you have both games and also have a PS2 that doesn't play 

them easily, like mine, then ,>*-<* "t this is an easy purchase to recommend as the games are fantastic and 

have aged remarkably well. ^^ 



^ 



Rating: 4.5 of 5 



Second opinion by Zippy • Alternate Rating : 5 of 5 

These games were awesome enough already, but now 
in one convenient HD package, they simply rule. Pick 
it up, PS3 owners! 




7 ' t 



'ublisher: Nintendo 
Developer: Ambrella 
Release Date: 11/16/2009 
Rating: Everyone 10+ 



± 



A Wii ~ 



■in 1 1 1.1.14 



T T 




Genre: Dungeon Crawler 



Category: PokeGauntlet 
# of Players: 1 -4 



mm/, 




It's no secret that these lovable pocket monsters are bred 
mainly to fight in tournaments for humans, but so far there hasn't 
been a game where the monsters alone are let loose into com- 
petitive battle without the leadership of their captors. 
Pokemon Rumble is here to do just that. 

Going in, one might see this as an opportunity to find the answers to several of life's mysteries: what happens when wild 
Pokemon must defend their territory, or become hungry for meat, or must combat over a potential mate? All fine questions, 
but Pokemon Rumble addresses an even bigger mystery: 

What if all the wild Pokemon were actually origami-esque dolls that come alive when a magical key is inserted into their 
backs and, upon dialing, inflates them into a larger, more combat-prepared size to fend off hordes of adversaries and become 
the champion of the Battle Royale tournament which only the wild Pokemon know about? Now that's a profound question. 

In the beginning, only the first generation of Pokemon are available. Players start out with a friendly, albeit pathetically low- 
leveled, Rattata who just wants to be accepted into the Battle Royale. He sneaks into the tournament grounds but is obliter- 
ated, so he sets off to find other higher-level Pokemon to be on his team. Playing out like a dungeon-crawling beat-em-up 
action slasher, players take direct control over the monsters and guide them through levels full of other wild monsters that 
must be defeated. Occasionally a defeated foe will join your team, and if you are lucky, it will be stronger than your other 
Pokemc 



The Pokemon can have up to two attacks at a time (although they usually only have one by nature) and other attacks can be 
purchased with coins that defeated Pokemon drop. The sad thing is that there are far too few attacks, so many Pokemon will 
share the same moves making the monsters feel frustratingly similar to each other. Sure, the more powerful Pokemon such 
as the Legendaries deal some truly powerful attacks, but by the time they come around, it's just not much fun anymore. 



is strong em 
n the Sinnoh 



Eventually the team is strong enough to enter the Battle Royale competition and become kings of the wild orgami. If it man- 
ages to succeed, then the Sinnoh Pokemon are introduced into the world. Unfortunately, the Sinnoh stages are exactly the 
same as the Kanto stages which only expounds on the already repetitive gameplay of Pokemon Rumble. 







?corflto 



It s not that Pokemon Rumble is a bad game; in fact it achieves 
exactly what it intends to do. It's just that it appeals to a niche 
audience: the very young, or the diehard. If you are someone 
who has completed every Pokedex, loves scouring for rarities 
such as Shiny's, and finds the aspect of taking direct control over 
hostile Pokemon intriguing, then Rumble will most likely satisfy 
your Poke-desires. Other gamers should be weary of the quickly 
trying repetition, especially considering it's 1500 points. 



Rating: 3 of 5 



2392^ ©©© 



t!^I-« 



Second opinion by Zippy • Alternate Rating : 3.5 of 5 



final score: 




Pokemon fans 

else need not apply. 



-0 enjoy, but anyone 









Elder Kozo Robert Schmuck 

At a recent retro gaming convention I attended I 
bought a pair of Sega Master System 3D glasses 
and 5 3D games. I was impressed with the 3D 
effect and instantly sought the rest of the 8 total 
3D games for the Master System; one of the best 
finds I've had this past year. 



Elder Goban Mike Norman 

Recently discovered a hidden gem on the Gen- 
esis: Charles Barkley's Shut Up and Jam 2! Might 
be a contender with Shaq-Fu for my favorite 
game! 



Afrika Soundtrack r afrika 



Article bv Kozo original soundtrack 

With grand climaxes and delicate melodies, the Afrika |M 
Original Soundtrack is a superb choice for fans of the I 
game and even for those who've never heard of it. ^> 
* ~ter the game's release in Japan in August 2008, the 
soundtrack got immediate attention, winning the 
"Best Original Score (Video Game)" award at the 
Hollywood Music Awards. The game was recently 
released in North America on October 2009 
exclusively for the Playstation 3. 

r 
Back in late 2007, Japanese born composer Wataru \^d 

Hokoyama conducted the largest orchestra ever assembled in Los Angeles for Rhino Studios' 
Playstation 3 exclusive, Afrika. The 104 player orchestra cost an estimated $200,000 to record 
the game's 35 minutes of music, ranging from extravagant swelling strings to more rhythmic 
drum based tracks. The music of Afrika fills the room with a gigantic, sweeping and dazzling 
full-orchestra sound that captivates any fan of classical music. With huge crescendos build- 
ing to soft climaxes, the soundtracks' first track, "Savanna" sets the tone for the game's score] 
soft melodies and a full deep sound that flows tremendously throughout. L 




je s score; 



The CD features all of the original music created for Afrika, 14 tracks that span an all too short 
35 minutes. Included with the soundtrack is a DVD that includes Afrika's score in 5.1 channel 

Surround Sound as well as a few supplements. The DVD 
features the trailer for Afrika, a "Making of the Score" 
mini documentary, a photo gallery plus credits for the . 
soundtracks' production. 

The score for Afrika garnered composer Wataru 
Hokoyama industry recognition and as a result he 
worked on Capcom's Resident Evil 5, providing addi- 
tional music, orchestration and conducting for the games 
soundtrack. After working on two major video game 
soundtracks in addition to other projects, Hokoyama will 
no doubt continue to score many great soundtracks in 
the years to come. 



74 IMPORTS: AFRIKA SOUNDTRACK 




ttt=* L ir£*LHHI 




UTI 

amari Damacf) Tribute 



Video game music has come a long way in the past 25 years, from the simple midi sounds 
of the 8 bit era to the full fledged orchestrated music of modern games. Video game mu- 
sic spans the breath of musical genres; from original classical scores to electronic music 
and almost any variation in between, video game music has come full circle. As the game 
industry has grown so has the budget for game music, creating some of the most recogniz 
able tunes today. From the eclectic music of , to the sweeping classical scores < 

and , game music has something for everyone. While vid 

wndtracks are becoming commonly released in the US, Japan still sees a lot of grc 
game soundtrack releases almost monthly. One of the best known games for creating mus 
that is totally different is the franchise. 




>naao\ 



The Katamari Damacy series is known for two things, quirky gameplay and outrageously good 
music. The latest release in the Katamari series, Katamari Tribute (Katamari Forever in the 
US) is a compilation of past levels reworked for the Playstation 3. The gameplay and music of 
Katamari Tribute are remixed and reworked versions of levels from past Katamari games now 
inHD! 



The features 36 tracks on 2 CD's and is a great compli- 

cation for fans of the series. For gamers who own any of the past soundtracks, or fans that 
love series fantastic music, the soundtrack is a must buy. With great remixes of 

songs from the past games, the music ranges from slow organic melodies to upbeat electronic 
rhythms, the music has something for everyone. 



For the game's soundtrack, producer Kazuhito Udetsu and sound director Yuu Miyake se- 
lected songs from past games that were fan favorites or were special to the games produc- 
tion staff for well known artists to remix. Among the artists selected was Japanese chip- 
tune trio, YMCK (the same group that did the wonderful soundtrack for the DSiware game, 
Art Style: PiCTOBiTS) who remixed A Crimson Rose and a Gin & Tonic from the series' first 
game, adding a new genre to the Katamari 
franchise; chiptunes. The soundtrack also 
brought back past artists to remix their own 
original tracks, adding a new layer to the 
songs that is simply dazzling to hear. 



ITfoBUTE 



^ 





• * 




hkutfrx M 




WSSSMMSSBSSSSSSS^MSSM 




Review by Kozo 



For a console that just celebrated its 10 year anniversary, the Sega Dreamcast is anything 
but dead! With a diehard handful of devoted developers still slowly releasing homebrew 
games for the decade old console, the Doujin games scene is still alive and well on the 
Dreamcast. Partly due to the Dreamcast's easy to break copy protection software and the 
supportive fanbase willing to encourage new games at a decent price, the latest Dreamcast 
game to see a disc based release is DUX, a 2D shooter from the team at HUCAST.net. DUX 
is the second 2D shooter from the NG:DEV.TEAM and HUCAST.net, following their multiplat- 
form release of LAST HOPE in 2006 for the NeoGeo AES, NeoGeo CD and the Dreamcast. 
While LAST HOPE was criticized for its hard to distinguish bullets, DUX seems to have fixed 
this issue and is a great straightforward shooter. 

DUX is a challenging shooter that boasts six stages that take a fair amount of time to work 
through. With an emphasis on dodging to navigate through the level while shooting only 
the enemies that block your path, it's a nice change of pace from your average shooter. 
DUX has multiple stage checkpoints within each stage, making the challenging portions of 
each stage easier to manage in small chunks of difficult gameplay. DUX is a very straight 
forward game; there are no unlockables, no bonus features and no mini games, just good 
old 2D side scrolling shooting. The player starts with six lives and has 3 continues to pass 
the games tough six levels. While some gamers might protest that the game only has an 
'arcade' type mode, DUX does have some interesting options for the inquiring gamer to 
play around with. 





In the 'Options' menu accessible from the game's main menu after loading, the player has the option to 
change the 'Visibility' to 3 different settings. These settings change the appearance of the objects par- 
allax scrolling behind the action in the actual game. Select the "Moderate" setting and there is a ton of 
action going on that definitely increases the games difficulty by having lots of objects can distract the 
player and cause them to lose a life. Select the "High" option and the game is very balanced for most 
shoot'em up fans to enjoy. For those looking to just have a good time and clear the game, the "Perfect" 
option is the one they want. The "Perfect" option removes all of the objects from the background and 
replaces it with a simple white background, making navigating the play field a lot easier. The inclusion of 
these different settings is a neat feature to play around with and add a little bit of replayablity to the game. 



: JF',& 



The player can also change the games orientation from 'horizontal' to 'vertical' in the 'Controls' section 
of the 'Options' menu. This actually changes the game significantly and while the levels are the same 
length, the game does play a lot differently as a vertical shooter, further adding to the game's replayablity. 
While this sounds like a tacky change in gameplay, it is definitely a big change to the game and is worth 
trying out a few times. While DUX may seem to be a standalone release on a 1 year old console, there is 
a lot of fun hidden for those willing to give it a try. 

The art style and graphics of DUX are truly shocking to look at on the Dreamcast. The sprites are bright 
and vivid, the colors are rich and deep, and the art style really blends with the games color palette. DUX is 
visually impressive with a lot of action going on (as long as the "Visibility" is set to "Moderate") and this 
will make any gamer walking by stop and take a look at what's happening onscreen. The 
| enemies and bosses are interesting to look at making the game really stand out with a 
J unique and attention grabbing visual presence. While the games graphics are really im- 
ipressive, the games soundtrack seems to have not reached the same level as the graphics. 
| While it's an enjoyable enough to listen to, it seems way too uneventful for a shooter. With 
relatively smooth electronic music as its soundtrack, the onscreen action doesn't seem 
ito match the smooth easy beats. The tempo seems a little slow at times and the almost 
I ambient sounds don't match with the games high tempo action. It's a soundtrack that ser- 
I vices the game well, but doesn't stand out enough to really add a great deal to the gameplay 
[experience. The remix soundtrack that is available for DUX really should have been 
I included in the game; it's a bit more upbeat and would have added a bit more to the game 
than the original soundtrack. 

Overall, DUX is a very enjoyable game to play; with impressive visuals, a fair amount of stylish 
options to change, and the fact that it's a new game on a 1 year old Sega console, make it a 
great game for shooter fans and Dreamcast enthusiasts alike. While it essentially features an 
'arcade' mode that is fun enough to play, DUX still has some inventive options for those willing 
to dig around a bit. Add in the fact that the game is region free making importing a snap and 
you've got an enjoyable experience for the inquiring gamer. While the game will give a lot of 
fun gameplay at first, overtime the game is a bit of a standalone release, but really it isn't all 
that different from the numerous arcade shooter ports on the Dreamcast already. For anyone 




looking to have fun reliving the 
shooters, DUX is a very good 
won't disappoint. 



heyday Dreamcast 
start that in the end 




ms 



1LS 




l^yjBj^ _!S_p_jj * " 



rttinUGoviHaGnmpsx&mm 



JAPAN t DOU JIN WIT 
KEEP 2D CAME? AUVf 

by Kozo and Taragan 



"94QB0 



Independent video games offer gamers a chance to try genres' that are all but 

forgotten by the modern games' industry or genres that aren't ^ , ^ • 

something most mainstream gamers would take an interest in. 
In Japan, the independent games scene is all about Doujin 
games (Doujin Soft) or 'fan games' that cater to gamers with 
specific tastes. Doujin games are a true outlet for gamers 
looking to find something different from what appears on the 
3 major video game consoles of the current generation. 



While the independent games market is growing in the US with 
events like Penny Arcade's PAX10 competition bringing 
independent games to the public, Japan's fan games (Doujin ■■ 
soft) scene is a lot different. In Japan there are two types of 
Doujin soft; totally free games that can be downloaded and ! 
played at no cost, and commercially sold versions which 
usually include demos for gamers to try before purchasing. 
Doujin soft games are commonly genres with dedicated 
fanbases willing to support titles that cater to a particular 
group's preference for games not commonly made regularly 
by the modern games industry. 








yy^j 







dating games, "Ere 



¥ 'Wa-MMcft, «aint?-l.ff. 



>7y»** qjie>r4Cr 



Doujin soft games include dating games, "Eroge" 
(or Hentai in the West) games that cater to adults, to 
the substantial emphasis on 2D games like fighters, 
shooters and traditional RPG's that have all but dis- 
appeared from the modern market. These games 
are also a lot more feasible for one person or a small 
team to develop without much difficulty. Doujin soft 
games also run the breadth of the development 
process, from one person responsible for program- 
ming, graphics and music development, to large 
teams that make a game in short periods of time by 
having specialized areas of expertise. 



?5>7 l M& 



Doujin soft designer Kenta Cho is a great example of 
a one man team that creates games fairly regularly and offers them all for free on his website 
(http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/-cs8k-cyu/index_e.html) with no cost to the gamer. Cho not only 
programs the games, but also does all the graphics, music, and testing himself. Kenta Cho 
has taken his love for playing Shmups and turned it in to a hobby of creating free shooters for 
fellow gamer s to enjoy. With downloadable games available for a lot of different platforms 
including Windows, the XBOX 360 (XNA) BANDAI's Wonderswan handheld on top of a lot 
of different programming languages like Flash and Java, Cho provides gamers with a lot of 
video games for free. 



JAPAN 5 DOWN SOFT KEEP.2D GAMES AL UEh 




Doujin soft designers that give away th 
games can also make the jump to the retai 
market if given the chance and the desire. 
Bandai's Wonderswan handheld had its own 
official hobbyist development kit, the 
WonderWitch, which gave gamers the 
chance to become designers themselves, 
programming games for the handheld. One 
such WonderWitch game, Judgement 
V Silversword made the jump to an 



Judgement Silversword is definitely 
the best homebrew Wonderswan 
game ever. The bullet hell shooter 
was inspired by Treasure's Radiant 
Silvergun, one of the most sought 
after titles for the Sega Saturr 
Japan. 



3H9 i"»h 




! IUUJ 1 

■ 

111 1 



439250 



Winner of the WWGP 2001 WonderW 

Judgement Silversword saw a limited production run of a few thousi 
copies and was sold in retail stores in Japan. The retail edition of th< 
game is called Judgement Silversword - Rebirth Edition. The first pri. 
run quickly sold out and soon after used copies of the game quickly 
jumped to prices over $200 in Akihabara, the gaming capital of Toky< 

J second print run by publisher HFP caused the price to temporarily » 
it as the legend of Judgement Silversword has grown so has the price 
tlert: There is an easy way to distinguish between the first and second 
print runs of Judgement Silversword - Rebirth Edition. The second edition bears the 
HFP logo on the front of the box. / # 

Judgement Silversword is a technical marvel. Spanning a whopping 30 levels, Judg _ 
pushes the diminutive Wonderswan's processing power to the max as it often handles more than 1 00 par- 
ticles on the screen. Although said to be inspired by Radiant Silvergun, Judgement Silversword strikes a 
strong resemblance to Recca Summer Carnival '92 on the Famicom, in game mechanics, presentation and 
audio. 



While many Doujin soft games don't see a console release, a few do. Dedicated development teams spend 
countless hours making great games. Long dead consoles still get a few new games each year published 
independently of the modern game market. Games like DUX, a 2D shooter from Germany for the Sega 
Dreamcast, was published in July 2009, almost 10 years after the consoles launch. Even the Atari Lynx 
handheld got its own homebrew game this year, Zaku, a fast paced horizontal shoe 
While the Doujin soft market is a Japanese phenomenon, the impact is felt around th^ 
groups of dedicated fan developers that make these games happen. With large companies like Microsoft 
opening the doors for independent game development with XNA Game Studio, the US market might start to 
catch up with the Japanese tradition. XNA games can be played on Windows, the Xbox 360 and Microsoft's 
new digital media player, the Zune HD. Hopefully more companies see the potential in having fan made 
games on home consoles that cater to gamers who like something a little different next to the big budget 
titles of the current generation. The Xbox Live Community Games program is also a step on the right direc- 
tion for small developers to showcase great games that would otherwise get little notice by the mainstream 
gaming crowd. 

HARDCORE GAMER MASAZINEJ/OLUME 5JSSUE 2_denny quaid, hamburgler IMPORTS: JAPAN'S DOUJIN SOFT KEEP KEEP 2D GAMES ALIVE 79 



NINTENDO! 




by Goban 



Irozu Ki 71 ni no Ba I loon 

Finally, after two long years of waiting, Hyrule's famous green-clad 
hero is back! No, we're not talking about that scrawny mute elf 
kid. We are of course referring to the Zelda universe's famous 
resident map maker and creepy rupee hoarder, Tingle! After 
his successful debut as a title character in Freshly-Picked 
Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland, Tingle is back to haunt our night- 
mares in a new DS game: Irozuki Tingle no Koi no Balloon 
Trip. [ 

In Irozuki Tingle, or "Ripening Tingle's Balloon Trip of 
Love", you take control of the green machine as he trades 
his rupee addiction for something more heartwarming, true 
love. The game's premise is pretty straighforward: Tingle 
must escape from the inside of a self-help dating book that he 
bought off of a late night infomercial by finding a princess to 
dance with. Rather standard stuff really, we were hoping that 
Nintendo would come up with a more zany storyline properly 
befitting Tingle's personality. 

Along the way, Tingle meets up with three companions seemingly plucked straight 

from the land of Oz, each with unique abilites that will help Tingle find the Wiz er, 

the princess. Tingle's new friends are Kakashi, a tiny scarecrow who can squeeze into 
tight spaces; Buriki, a robotic woman from space who uses her cold logic to solve 
tough puzzles; and Lion, a cleverly named lion who uses his brute strength to clear 
obstacles. Dogging their footsteps is the mysterious Segare, who wants the princess 
for himself. 



80IMRORTS: R0ZUKTN6LE NO KO NO BALLOON TR 




NINTENDO! 




Irozuki Tingle's gameplay is very simplistic, a point and click (or in this case, tap) adventure. You will 
spend most of your time collecting and using various objects in order to solve puzzles and choosing 
the correct dialouge options with NPCs to progress through the pages of the book. Romance is also 
an important aspect of the game as Tingle will need to build the "love meter" of a handful of women 
__.-■-" ^- .___ either by sweet talking them or buying them various gifts from an aging 

Cupid called Loveya. (Think of Irozuki Tingle as Adventure meets Myst 




V 



meets a Japanese dating sim.) 



\\ Despite its simple gameplay Irozuki Tingle is a blast to play. 
\ \ Tingle finds himself in a series of increasingly bizarre situa- 
tions and the game continues Rose Rupeeland's tradition of 
absurd humor. The visuals are bright and cartoony, exactly 
■ , what you would expect from a Tingle game (although a few 
times you will run into a buff Cho Aniki style version of 
Tingle that you will wish you could forget forever). 

Unfortunately for non-Japanese speakers, Irozuki Tingle is 
very text-heavy. And although the game is very forgiving (it's 
nearly impossible to actually lose or die), not being able to un- 
derstand what is going on will sap almost all of the humor and 
fun out of Tingle's adventure. 



X Sadly, most American gamers have never had the 
_-■-■" chance to experience the joy of being Tingle as his 

first DS adventure was never localized in the States. 
Nintendo believed that our gentle American spirits were 
just not ready to step into Tingle's green fairy shoes. 
To add insult to injury, European gamers soon 
recieved an English language port of the game, 
smugly lording their good fortune over their 
non-PAL compatriots. 



It looks like it will be no different with Balloon Trip of Love. 
No plans have been made for a US release, so we can only hope 
that Nintendo of Europe bails us out once again with an English 
language version. 



l«I^ 1T3iM^ 






I 





but whena ^ ^ pr0 ,rf ic d 





SS-n. «-* W °; n t apan on me Sharp ^ ^ 
Sega CD . « ona^ the cutscenes rem ^ ^ huge 

got a ? e r up o-°- « vou v,ke) ■* 

story (make up y open ^^^^■■H 

firep ower <*»"£°J«, with the -^l^^~l 

levels shooting*^ 

primary 9°f^\ trl gger the 
enemy insta "^° re Lred targets 

^SLrie-rariar-the 
aremdeateo ahng 

lower-ngM scree uhe 

their posmona>th°u^ endto 

P athttl ^ e T b oaiit«e exploration 

labynnthme,o 

will show thaV°u wetn e 

^ ereV6r r s inwhatever order 
main targets >njN to 

^ kesthe ^olt 9 et there -'i" 

SSV^a T olen t v torioonthe 

way, such as sn 

TnetanKoomes^-K- 

apowerupspeo^o is afast 
{0U ndin.Thepnme^. tsweakness 

shot that makes up an d 

b V sheer Cgunsriootsasm 9 le, 
the secondary gu hes 

P<! S The bonus 
the tank bacKd wne re 

weapons, ho^^.The 
sector «s a ep , 

of the city levels its 

, ■„ The honing 
found m. Then 

missiles found on i 
level two are 
much more 



be effective. 



A nd that's what 
makes Granada 
such a great 
game, makes 
? n e basics of the 



TIM« 2? B - 



■ u <- ■ 



ffltfWJS? 5 *- 



ri uses every level 
free .roaming shooter art The 

^ iff on the theme 'n^t are completely 
11 ti ght city streets of eve ^ fNe , 

H-^^ Sike the slick wate^a ea ^ 

is the kind of class* 





GKLSimimSLE^iMlP 



r 



I 00034600 fc ir*- 



EwWWflBBBBBi 



HtySHfclli 




r 



- ^^h I ^^m - 



1 ■ 






Sony had something bo prove hbhe early 
days of bhePSt and while bhis is under- 
sbandable for a new console developer ib 
sbJIIresUbedhcolldberal damage 

In the U.S., this meant that it was all 3D, all the time, and if a game wasn't 
packed with polygons it wasn't seeing a release. (Yes, Beyond the Beyond, 
but that was more coma simulator than video game.) Gunner's Heaven was 
polygon-free, so unwelcome on these shores. In Europe, however, it was 
released as Rapid Reload. 



Rapid Reload is a side-scr 



i gun shooter. Alex and Ruka are 



i Nope, I bobally don'b see bhe resemblance bo Qunsbar Heroes. 






If I can't beat a kid l<e this, 

us Punpkin Heads wi| be 
in disgrace! 






SOAfTCS fi£TfIELD 



chasing after the mystical stone Valkiry, fighting the Pumpkin Head gang every 
step of the way, and it's going to take huge amounts of firepower to get it. 
You choose either Alex or Ruka at game's start and blast endless waves of 
goons, bosses, creatures, and robots over five levels plus a final epic boss 
battle. Each level is divided into three sections, divided by two mid-boss 
battles, before facing off against a Pumpkin Head Gang leader piloting a big- 
ass mech. Most importantly, it can't be overstated how badly Rapid Reload 



It's not a bad ambition, honestly. No other game has done run & gun as 
well as the original Genesis Gunstar Heroes, so if someone wants to send 
it through a copier that's fine. Rapid Reload isn't as good as its inspiration, 
of course, but that simply means its quite fun rather than one of the greatest 
games of its era. Still, the similarities can be a little overwhelming at times. 
The graphic style, heavy use of boss fights, weapon types, the ability to grab 
and throw the smaller enemies, and even an auto-scrolling mine level and 
side-scrolling shooter section aren't exactly subtle homages. 



■^rOr^ffV. 



Yeah... wouldn'b wanb bhab... Wibh names like bhab, I'd bhink LASERS PEWPEWPEW 

: bwice aboub messing wibh bhem. 



Forgeb Japan, bhis is European and f an-branslabed 
gaming. The English sbuff you've never heard aboub. 

' ^Jhe Qames America Forgob. 

Publisher SCB * Developer MediaVision Enberbainmenb * Qenre: Run b Qun * Cabegory: Nob Qunsbar Heroes * # Pi a 



Rapid Rel 




Dyjams*> 



On the plus side, it's a formula that works. There's usually a fair number of 
things on screen to shoot and it all blows up real good. Each weapon has 
its place, and the power-up method works particularly well. Certain enemies 
drop jewels, with the smallest being worth one second and the largest worth 
25 seconds of power-up time. The jewels stack, always adding time to the 
power-up clock and even carrying from one level to the next, but because later 
sections are stingy with the drops it's never a good idea to slow down. Having 
an electric homing gun that can send out three tendrils of zappy death instead 
of just one, or a Fire gun that gives a large blast radius when its shots land, 
makes all the difference when the tough enemies show up in large numbers. 
Death, of course, resets the timer to zero. 

Death becomes less likely with practice, however, because like most games 
of this genre Rapid Reload is heavily pattern-based. Bosses follow the same 
routine every time, so even a bad run to the end of a section can be salvaged 



lot, but the difficulty curve takes a sharp spike in the middle of level four and 
never stops climbing. Still, if pattern-memorization is your thing and you blow 
through Rapid Reload without taking a hit, you can always play as Ruka. Alex 
basically overwhelms his enemies with sheer power, but Ruka, in addition to 
having four completely different guns to cycle through, has noticeably less 
punch behind her shots. Not only do enemies take more hits to go down, 
but the extra time it takes comes right off the power-up clock. Alex is Normal 
difficulty, Ruka is Hard. 

Rapid Reload isn't a genre-defining classic by any stretch of the imagination, 
but it is a good fun bit of shooting that deserved better than to be left behind. 
There's always a place for bright, colorful, side-scrolling mayhem, and Rapid 
Reload provides that as capably today as it did when it came out... (double- 
checks Wiki... 14 years ago!? Seriously!?) ...in 1995. 




SAMES AMERICA FORGOT RAPID RELOAD_85 




'ant your logo here? Join the Hardcore Gamer Magazine affiliation program today! It s simple! 
you have to do is host the online version of Hardcore Gamer Magazine on your web site and you're 
in. It's that easy! Send an email to affiliates@hardcoregamer.com to sign up today.